The Democratic-controlled House Agriculture Committee on Monday approved a partisan spending package that is expected to grow to $94 billion once new funding for farm bill conservation programs is added.
Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow is seeking a federal ethics investigation into a business deal between former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and agribusiness giant Archers Daniels Midland. The Washington Post reported this week that Perdue in early 2017 purchased an ADM soybean facility for $250,000 that was worth millions.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack pledged to the House Agriculture Committee to “root out” systemic racism and barriers at USDA that prevent Black and other socially disadvantaged farmers from receiving the same level of assistance that has historically been available to white farmers.
Democrats pushed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package through the House early Saturday despite progressives' fears about the future of a minimum-wage increase that's included in the measure.
Advocates for minority farmers say historical discrimination justifies providing payments totaling 120% of debt held by “socially disadvantaged” farmers, as approved by the House Agriculture Committee in its $16.1 billion COVID relief package, part of a larger $1.9 trillion relief bill to be considered by the full House of Representatives.