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Hoeven Expects New Coronavirus Aid Package by Early August

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Hoeven, R-N.D., mentioned Wednesday that he expects Congress to jot down one other coronavirus support package deal that features agriculture “over the next weeks.”

“We are working on it now,” Hoeven instructed North Dakota farm and ranch leaders on a digital roundtable.

“Things change and evolve,” he mentioned, however “I anticipate by the first part of August we are going to have done something.”

Then he added, “The caveat is all that could change.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., mentioned this week that he expects the Republicans within the Senate and President Donald Trump to provide you with a coronavirus support package deal subsequent week.

The House has already handed a package deal known as the HEROES Act, however House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., mentioned this week she is prepared to cancel or postpone the House recess scheduled to start on the finish of July to succeed in settlement with the Senate on a closing invoice.

During the roundtable Hoeven famous that the final coronavirus support package deal included $14.5 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation, which USDA has not tapped as a result of it couldn’t use the cash till after a reporting requirement on the finish of June.

Hoeven mentioned he expects the subsequent support package deal would proceed the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) with some add ons.

“We are looking at what the House did and there are certainly things in that we will use and there are likely to be some differences too,” Hoeven mentioned. But he added that the House package deal price $Three trillion and that the ultimate package deal won’t be that giant.

He additionally mentioned he has the fiscal yr 2021 Agriculture appropriations invoice prepared for subcommittee and full appropriations committee consideration, however that the appropriations course of within the Senate has stopped.

Hoeven mentioned he doesn’t know whether or not the appropriations invoice will move earlier than the fiscal yr begins on October 1, however that even when there’s a persevering with decision it is going to be based mostly on the fiscal yr 2020 invoice and can embody sufficient cash to “fund farm programs going forward.”

Between coronavirus support and the appropriations payments, “we have positioned ourselves as well as we can,” Hoeven mentioned.

During the decision, the farm and ranch leaders pointed to the significance of guaranteeing fattened cattle may be slaughtered and ethanol vegetation want federal support. Farmers additionally added that CFAP program has added potatoes to the listing of commodities however this system will not be offering the help growers anticipated. USDA’s catastrophe program, the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP Plus) utility course of is cumbersome. Farmers additionally credited the Trump administration for doing a very good job of managing the sugar program.

Separately from Hoeven’s roundtable, the Renewable Fuels Association launched an evaluation Wednesday stating that the trade has misplaced greater than $3.four billion in income already due to COVID-19. RFA has been advocating for the Senate to just accept support provisions for the ethanol trade that had been included within the HEROES Act. Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have launched comparable laws within the Senate.

“The analysis again underscores the need for Congress to act expeditiously to deliver emergency relief to the renewable fuels industry,” mentioned Geoff Cooper, president of RFA. “As members of the Senate begin to craft their next COVID-19 stimulus package, we implore them to ensure the renewable fuels industry is not left behind again. We ask that they stand up for the 350,000 critical and essential workers whose jobs are supported by the ethanol industry.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a name on Thursday to element its priorities for the subsequent COVID-19 aid invoice.

Jerry Hagstrom may be reached at jhagstrom@nationaljournal.com

Follow him on Twitter @hagstromreport

Source: Jerry Hagstrom, DTN

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