House Agriculture Committee's Democratic Leadership Affirm Their Support of MFP Funding for Farmers


Source - House Agriculture Committee

via Oklahoma Farm Report - 16 Sep 2019


Filemon Vela, Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities; Jim Costa, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture; and Collin Peterson, Chairman of House Agriculture Committee are leading efforts to secure the inclusion of language in the continuing resolution (CR) which would allow USDA to move forward with the recently announced Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments.


“As Members of Congress who represent agricultural communities, we repeatedly hear from farmers in our districts whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the ongoing trade wars. Although we mutually have concerns with President Trump’s approach to trade negotiations, we refuse to engage in the same tactics that punish our constituents and harm our communities that rely on agriculture. The upcoming CR should include the anomaly requested by USDA that would allow them to access the $30 billion in spending of the Commodity Credit Corporation prior to October 1st to ensure that MFP and farm bill payments continue to go out. We cannot and will not allow our farmers to be used as political pawns.”


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Signal to Noise: Could Dems Stop MFP Payments?


by John Herath, AgWeb

Sep 13, 2019


A draft budget continuing resolution would cap funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation and put Market Facilitation Program payments as well as other Farm Service Agency payments in jeopardy. Pro Farmer Policy Analyst Jim Wiesemeyer weighs in on the policy and the politics of the move and whether Democrats will, indeed try to hold up tariff aid payments.


Meanwhile, talks are intensifying over resolution to the Renewable Fuels Standard and waivers for small refiners, including...


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Will Congress Close The Checkbook on Trump Tariff Payments?


By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming - 9/16/2019


A veritable footnote in the $4 trillion federal budget could become a top-line issue this week in the debate between lawmakers and the administration over government funding. House Democrats might refuse to provide money for the obscure USDA agency that has sent billions of dollars in cash to farmers and ranchers to mitigate the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.


The issue has simmered since June, when the White House said it wanted an earlier-than-usual replenishment of funding for the Commodity Credit Corp., nicknamed “USDA’s bank.” The Democrat-controlled House demurred then and may put off new CCC funding until late November or early December. In the interim, they are considering a short-term government funding bill that is free of all controversial riders. They could unveil the “clean” bill as early as today. The House calendar calls for debate and possible passage of the bill this week.


Democrats could be using the CCC as a bargaining chip against a government shutdown, or it could mark a moment when Congress exerts its power of the purse. A former USDA official questioned the optics: Do Democrats really want to shut down the Market Facilitation Program, as the trade-war payments are officially named, when they are trying to rebuild support in rural America?


House Republicans jumped on that interpretation. “Democrats are threatening to harm rural America in an attempt to damage @realDonaldTrump by preventing USDA from providing support to ag producers,” tweeted Texas Rep. Michael Conaway, former House Agriculture chairman. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “Democrats are trying to squeeze American farmers … by blocking a program that helps them withstand China’s unfair trade policies.”


“The American people deserve a robust debate on the costs of the Trump trade war. The clean [funding bill] that House Democrats have circulated will keep the government open and provide time for Congress to have that debate,” a spokesman for House Appropriations chairwoman Nita Lowey told the Washington Post.


Agriculture is the only sector of the U.S. economy to receive a trade-war bailout and that’s because of the broad powers given to the CCC, created during the Depression to pay for New Deal farm subsidies...