On a bipartisan vote of 301 to 123, the House passed a continuing resolution that funds the government through November 21. The resolution includes a provision that will allow the Ag Department’s Commodity Credit Corporation to continue to make aid payments to farmers. That includes Market Facilitation Payments to help make up for export sales lost in recent trade wars. The Hagstrom Report says House leadership and USDA officials negotiated a provision that requires the Ag Department to report to Congress on the trade aid program. The bill goes to the Senate and is expected to be passed quickly. It then moves to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey had initially left the CCC provision out of the bill but put it back in after getting pressure from both Republicans and Democrats. House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson is happy the assistance is continuing. “The call for more transparency in this program is a good one,” he says. “I appreciate USDA’s willingness to ensure that help gets out the door on time to the farmers who need it. At the same time, it allows taxpayers to see where the funds are going.”