The farm sector will keep a close eye on D.C. this week, as the Trump administration and Congressional Democrats continue to work on a pre-election coronavirus pandemic relief deal. Fresh off what many are calling a major legislative win to replenish $30 billion in the Commodity Credit Corporation for Farm Bill programs and virus relief, Agriculture was pushing for a last-minute comprehensive deal ahead of the election.
“I think there’s a desire by both sides to make sure that those that are…that have fallen on particularly hard times are, have a lifeline,” noted American Farm Bureau’s Andrew Walmsley. “It’s just a question of what that ends up looking like.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin continue to work on closing a $700 billion gap, and differences over a child tax credit, aid to states and cities, and enhanced jobless benefits. Last week, 18 House Democrats broke ranks, among them Ag Chair Collin Peterson, and voted against a $2.2 trillion aid package. Despite that decent the aid, including help for meat processors and restaurants, biofuels, farmer stress programs and school nutrition cleared the House. Peterson argued the bill had no chance of passing in the Senate.
Walmsley says pressure continues to build in D.C.
“It’s hot negotiations in Washington, so anything’s possible; but, as the time drags on, days drag on, the desire to get a deal, I think, only grows more rampant.”
Walmsley adds Pelosi is under pressure from Democrats in swing districts to get a deal before election day but faces resistance from Republicans in the Senate who have expressed concern about the budget.
All of this as President Trump fights the coronavirus himself.
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