Senate Democrats halted a Republican effort to add $250 billion to the highly popular Paycheck Protection Program for farms and small businesses, saying the measure failed to address other more urgent needs.
Farmers could be getting to $15.5 billion in aid to offset the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. That total includes the $9.5 billion in aid earmarked in the Phase 3 economic stimulus bill, plus an additional $6 billion that USDA has remaining in its Commodity Credit Corp. account, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA wants to provide relief from the COVID-19 crisis to eligible farm sectors “sooner rather than later,” but the department will have to wait until this summer at the earliest to distribute an additional $14 billion in aid.
Requests for COVID-19 relief are piling up at USDA. The produce industry is the latest to weigh in, with proposals to USDA to provide up to $5 billion in payments to growers and dealers who were hammered by the loss of markets after restaurants, hotels and schools shut down.