Senate leaders have reached an agreement to end the government shutdown, passing a bill to fund the government until February 8th.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to end a filibuster on the spending bill, in exchange for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s word that the Senate will begin debating immigration by the day the short-term spending bill expires. The Senate vote was 80 to 18, with 33 Democrats joining 47 Republicans in voting for the measure.
The Department of Agriculture had planned to furlough roughly 70 percent of the agency’s employees, despite notices from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue that many core programs would remain open during the shutdown. USDA insisted that during the brief shutdown, food safety inspection would occur, along with import controls, core nutrition programs and crop insurance.
Some speculate that the brief government shutdown harms efforts to pass future legislation later this year, including the next farm bill.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.