In this file:


·         House Dems' relief bill provides $16.5 billion in direct payments

·         House Ag Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway Blasts HEROES Act for No Dollars For Direct Ag Aid



House Dems' relief bill provides $16.5 billion in direct payments

Legislative Watch: House voting on HEROES Act; asking FEMA for depop help; pork indemnity sought; MCOOL reinstate request; more cattle on spot market.


P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

May 15, 2020


The House of Representatives will vote later today on the House Democrats $3 trillion stimulus package, the "HEROES Act." The proposal provides additional support for agriculture, aid to state and local governments, health services, nutrition assistance, and another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.


Direct payments: The bill provides $16.5 billion in additional funds for direct payments for producers of livestock, specialty crops and other commodities. Producers who are eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program would receive additional payments to cover 85% of their losses in the second quarter of the year. Those not eligible for CFAP payments would receive payments for 85% of their losses for the first half of 2020 under the legislation.


Reimburse livestock and poultry producers: Livestock and poultry producers who have to euthanize market-ready hogs, cattle and poultry due to plant disruption because of COVID-19 would receive assistance. The USDA currently pays indemnities for depopulation of herds or flocks because of an illness, not healthy animals and poultry.


Dairy: The bill provides special assistance for dairy producers with small to mid-sized operations enrolled in a dairy insurance program. It establishes a dairy donation program to move surplus milk and other dairy products out of the market instead of farmers having to dump their milk.


Biofuels payment: The bill provides assistance to the hard hit ethanol industry. Biofuels plants would be eligible for payments of 45 cents per gallon for fuel produced from Jan. 1 to May 1. Plants that didn't produce for a month or longer are eligible for payments of 45 cents on half their production during the corresponding period in 2019.


Processing plants: It amends the Commodity Credit Corp. charter to give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to provide aid to agricultural processing plants in the event of a public health emergency in order to assure the continuation of markets for agricultural commodities.


Nutrition: With the increasing unemployment rate, the bill provides an additional $10 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to support anticipated increases in participation. Those currently receiving the minimum SNAP benefit of $16 per month would receive an amount set at $30. Also, an additional $1.1 billion is provided for the Women, Infants and Children program to be used for pregnant women or mothers with young children who have lost their jobs or laid off because of COVID-19. An additional $150 million would be provided for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to purchase agricultural products that would be donated to food banks and other nonprofit groups.


The bill will not go anywhere in the Senate. The Senate Republican leadership and the administration say it is time to slow down the process to determine how previous aid packages are working and with more states opening businesses to see what the needs will be in the future. Democrats will use the proposal as a starting point for discussions when the Senate and the administration decide to move forward with another aid package.


FEMA should help farmers depopulate animals ...


Indemnity support needed for pork producers during pandemic ...


Reinstate MCOOL for beef ...


Spot market requirements for beef packers ...





House Ag Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway Blasts HEROES Act for No Dollars For Direct Ag Aid


Source- House Ag Committee Republicans

via Oklahoma Farm Report - 16 May 2020


On Friday, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 6800, Speaker Pelosi’s $3 trillion partisan wish list:


“In the midst of this global pandemic, the Trump Administration asked Congress for $50 billion to provide critical economic relief to farmers, ranchers, and rural America. Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House would provide $68 billion in funding to give USDA the tools it needs to ensure our food supply remains safe, abundant, and affordable. Out of a $3 trillion monstrosity that provides funding for every last idea on their socialist wish list, House Democrats could not find the money to meet either request for agriculture.


“While I like some of the policy proposals contained in the agricultural relief provisions, many others need work. A bipartisan process would have allowed for a collaborative discussion, but unfortunately there was no process at all. The President and the Senate have both rightly said the House bill is dead on arrival. The House Democrat’s proposal on agriculture is just too little and threatens to become too late unless Democrats start seeking bipartisan, common sense solutions to address the economic impacts of COVID-19.


“Additionally, House Democrats forced through unprecedented rule changes tonight that will allow Members of Congress to cast votes for other Members who choose not to show up for work...