Congress Considering Next Coronavirus Relief Package, Including Assistance for Agriculture
On July 27
Senate Republicans released their proposed next phase of coronavirus relief measures. House Democrats have previously passed their version back on May 15
, titled the HEROES Act and the two chambers, along with the White House, will negotiate on the different provisions. The House bill is larger in scope, totaling $3 trillion, while the Republican proposal is approximately $1 trillion. The Republican proposal includes an additional $20 billion for USDA to continue to provide direct assistance to farmers, such as the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) that is currently providing payments to certain eligible livestock, dairy, specialty crop, and row crop producers. The House Democrat proposal also includes funding for similar direct assistance to farmers as well as funding to expand acreage enrollment in the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), explicit funding for biofuel producers, and an increase in SNAP benefits. Negotiations on the package are likely to take at least a couple of weeks.