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Next COVID Relief Packages includes Ag provisions

Photo by Dustin Hoffmann

President Joe Biden has been pressing hard for the next round of a COVID-19 relief package. The massive legislation has met with Republican concerns about the price tag. The Ag Democrats in the House and Senate have agreed on the terms of the $3.6 billion of the bill to strengthen the food supply chain and help the food insecure.

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) talks about the situation facing everybody along the food supply chain, from farmers all the way to the consumers.

The bill offers $100 million for small meat processors’ overtime fee relief, additional fees for food donation buys, food stamp enhancements, rural hospitals, and more.

During his confirmation hearing, Ag Secretary Nominee Tom Vilsack says that Congress needs to work with the industry to build its strength back up better than before COVID.

While there is all this talk on what the new bill will have for agriculture, there is still $13 billion left to spend from the last COVID package in December.

USDA is still without an Ag Secretary as the Senate is paused for the impeachment trial of Former President Trump. This means that any confirmation of Vilsack will have to wait.