President Donald Trump has signed the continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded through December 11. The Senate approved the stopgap funding measure hours before the deadline by a vote of 84 to 10. Lawmakers finally resolved their disagreements about the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The continuing resolution includes language to replenish the CCC, which the agriculture industry has been heavily reliant upon in 2020.
“Today’s passage of the continuing resolution is an immense relief to farmers, who depend on federally-funded programs to access loans, technical support, and critical market and climate data,” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said in a press release. “These services are always essential but are particularly so right now as we all cope with the added challenges the pandemic has introduced. Simply put, farmers and rural communities can’t afford a shutdown, and we appreciate Congress’s efforts to prevent that from happening.”
The continuing resolution provides the full $30 billion reimbursement of the CCC, a major point of contention among lawmakers. Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Senator John Hoeven explained that the CCC funding was not initially in the original bill from the House. After significant negotiation, the replenishment of CCC funding was finally agreed upon. The CCC supports a multitude of safety net programs, most notably Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage. Farmers and ranchers have been anxiously tracking the debate surrounding the continuing resolution. Producer payments would have been delayed had the resolution not been agreed to.
“We are glad Congress reached a government funding deal that provides important support to farmers and families who have weathered incredibly difficult challenges all year long,” National Milk Producers President Jim Mulhern said in a news release. “This measure not only avoids a government shutdown, it also ensures that additional COVID-19 assistance can be provided as further needs arise and provides important nutrition assistance to families in need.”