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Furloughed federal workers and area elected officials hold a protest rally in front of Independence Hall on January 8, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark Makela/Stringer/GettyImagesNews
Furloughed federal workers and area elected officials hold a protest rally in front of Independence Hall on Jan. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia.

What impact will shutdown have on farm bill implementation?

2018 Farm Bill signed before shutdown began, but implementation on hold while federal shutdown continues.

Updated 3:33 p.m. Jan. 11, 2019

The federal government shutdown is nearing its fourth week with no end in sight.

On Friday, Jan. 11, federal employees missed their first paycheck of this shutdown, which is poised to become the longest ever. BBC reported Craigslist has been flooded with listings from federal workers trying to sell their belongings. CNN has compiled a list of 77 ways the shutdown is impacting Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday, Jan. 10, blocked a move by Senate Democrats to get the chamber to vote on spending bills to reopen the government, according to CNN Politics.

Meanwhile, federal workers and their supporters rallied for their jobs near the White House on Thursday, Jan. 10, according to USA Today. Almost half of the 800,000 civilian federal employees are not working and those who are won’t be paid until the stalemate ends.

Trump told reporters on Thursday, Jan. 10, that “I have the absolute right to declare a national emergency,” Politico reported.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, President Trump declared a meeting with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to discuss the shutdown “a total waste of time.”

Here’s some of what’s being said related to agriculture:

“I am deeply concerned that the shutdown is having a devastating impact on USDA’s operations, hurting many American farmers and families,” wrote U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, ranking member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Stabenow raised a number of questions, including how the shutdown would affect the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, which President Trump signed into law a day before the government shutdown began.

“Careful and quick implementation of the Farm Bill is critical to the well-being of American farmers and families,” wrote Stabenow. “This shutdown will greatly slow implementation of this important bill, making it even more difficult for farmers to make planting decisions for this new crop year.”

“Right now should be one of the busiest times at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): they have hundreds of pages of new marching orders in the new farm bill,” said Anna Johnson, policy manager of the Center for Rural Affairs.

Instead, USDA activities ranging from farm loans and farm payments to rural development loans and grants are shut down. Other halted activities include investigation of fraudulent and anti-competitive activities by packers and stockyards.

“To serve the country and do their jobs effectively, USDA employees need to be at work,” Johnson said. “Congress should pass a spending bill to reopen the government, and override any potential presidential veto.”

Source: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Center for Rural Affairs, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

TAGS: Farm Policy
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