President Trump signed a temporary, stop-gap funding measure to keep the government running through Dec. 11 around 1 a.m. Oct. 1, Federal News Network reports.
The House passed the continuing resolution last week by a vote of 357-57. The Senate passed the resolution Sept. 30 by a 84-10 vote.
The resolution gives the administration the authority to continue paying subsidies to farmers and replenishes the Commodity Credit Corporation so the administration can fund its second round of COVID-19 aid for farmers.
“Farmers have worked with Congress for years to develop and implement effective risk management tools that ensure a stable feed, fuel and food supply even during the tough times many are facing today," said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross. “NCGA thanks members of the House and Senate from both sides of the aisle who fought to ensure USDA has the budget flexibility necessary to deliver on the farm bill’s commitments and support America’s farmers and ranchers.”
In addition to replenishing the CCC, the continuing resolution funds farm bill initiatives.
“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,” said National Milk Producers Federation president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “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.”
Sen. Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said the pandemic relief programs are important to rural America.
“In these wildly uncertain times, farmers, ranchers, and growers are counting on us to get this right. I’m proud to cast my vote to continue sending much-needed certainty and predictability to rural America,” Roberts said.
National Farmers Union said the bill not only replenished CCC funds, but also provided nearly $8 billion for nutrition assistance programs.
“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," said NFU president Rod Larew. "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."
NMPF hopes that, with the government funding debate resolved, Congress and the administration will now agree on another coronavirus relief bill. The House earlier this week released a revised version of its Heroes Act, which again includes important provisions such as a dairy product donation program that would help farmers and consumers.
“Congress and the administration need to bridge their differences and finalize a bipartisan plan that continues to provide needed disaster assistance to all dairy producers," Mulhern said. "The issues are challenging, but we believe policymakers are up to the task.”
Read a summary of the continuing resolution here.