The ending of the government shutdown was announced as a three-week temporary ceasefire. President Trump declared he still wanted to have a real discussion about border security but wasn’t going to keep the government closed. However, our three weeks is almost up, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is still playing catch-up.
The 35-day shutdown put the USDA behind. One of the many jobs it must get done, is implementing the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation is important for agriculture going into the 2019 growing season. Another shutdown would be a catastrophe.
However, Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) says he doesn’t think the government will shut back down. He says shutdowns never achieve their purpose.
Roberts says farmers are making decisions now. They cannot afford another shutdown when they need to get to their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices.
The USDA is moving as quickly as it can to implement the Farm bill programs. This is according to USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky.
Censky says some of the implementations are easy and straightforward. However, others must be looked at from a policy, budget, or legal standpoint.
We only have a little more than a week before the February 15th deadline, which was imposed by President Trump.