The House rejected the USDA-FDA funding bill for this fiscal year by a 46-vote margin driven partly by the bill's proposed ban on mail-order and over-the-counter sale of an abortion drug to people holding a prescription. USDA-FDA funding could become part of a long-term government funding bill in coming weeks; the stand-alone Senate version of the bill, with no ban on the drug, mifepristone, also was available.
The looming government shutdown is an example of the roadblocks facing the new farm bill, Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow told reporters on Wednesday. “Everything keeps getting in our way,” she said. “It’s an unusual time.”
It will be difficult or even impossible for Congress to enact a new farm bill amid the disruptions of a federal shutdown, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters at the White House on Monday. A shutdown could begin on Saturday when government funding lapses, which is the same day the 2018 farm law expires. But agricultural leaders in Congress have some leeway — until December — to act on the farm bill.
The Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program serving 6.7 million poor people could run out of money within a few days if Congress cannot agree to fund the government beyond Saturday, said a USDA official. In a repeat of the Trump era, a shutdown also could derail the monthly USDA crop report, but a USDA contingency plan says meat inspectors would stay on the job.
House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson floated a bill on Wednesday to keep local USDA offices open during any future government shutdowns. “There’s no sense not to have them working,” he said. “Couldn’t agree more,” responded Sonny Perdue.
With the shutdown behind it, the USDA will begin today to clear out a month's worth of backlogged data, including major reports that could jolt commodity markets and color farmers' decisions on crops to plant this spring. Chief economist Robert Johansson said there will be one exception — the globe-spanning WASDE report that serves as a monthly crop report for the world.
U.S. farmers may receive noticeably less in Trump tariff payments than originally expected, a senior USDA official said on Thursday. And with no end in sight for the five-week partial government shutdown, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley told reporters that food stamps could be in jeopardy.
Federal meat inspectors are reporting to work without pay during the partial government shutdown, said an industry trade group on Wednesday, as the USDA called on 9,700 furloughed FSA employees to reopen offices nationwide today to serve farmers and ranchers.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue set a new deadline of February 14 for producers to apply for Trump tariff payments, while announcing on Tuesday that USDA’s so-called county offices will be open for many, but not all, services during the partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, concern rose …
About half of the USDA’s local offices will be open for three days, beginning Thursday, to deal with existing farm loans and provide tax documents to farmers and ranchers. USDA employees will not consider applications for new loans, the new dairy support program, disaster relief, or Trump tariff payments.
On Thursday, in a test of partisan resolve, the Democratic-controlled House passed, on a nearly party-line vote of 243-180, a funding bill to reopen the USDA and FDA. With the exception of essential work such as meat inspection, both agencies have been shuttered since late December by the partial government shutdown.
The Trump administration will release an estimated $4.8 billion to SNAP recipients on January 20, nearly two weeks early, to ensure they get their February food stamps despite the partial government shutdown, announced Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. The USDA said its other public nutrition programs, including WIC, school lunch and food donations, are funded through February, alleviating concerns of hunger among millions of Americans during a protracted shutdown.
As the government shutdown enters its third week, its consequences for food producers and eaters are wide-ranging. From food pantries to breweries to farm country, the furloughing of 800,000 federal staffers is having dramatic consequences.
With farmers locked out of USDA offices because of the partial government shutdown, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Tuesday that he was extending the January 15 deadline to sign up for $9.6 billion in Trump tariff payments. The extension will “equal to the number of business …
Two of the major public nutrition programs, SNAP and WIC, could run out of money if the partial government shutdown persists into February and beyond, affecting millions of people. While the USDA says funding is assured for this month, it is not as clear about what to expect in the future.
The Agriculture Department is expected to announce today that a set of major crop reports scheduled for release Jan. 11 will be delayed until the government shutdown is over, said chief economist Robert Johansson.
Barring a breakthrough in negotiations between the White House and Congress, the partial government shutdown will force the USDA to delay next week’s scheduled release of potentially market-moving reports that take a final look at the 2018 crops and provide the first hints of this year’s production.
Federal meat inspectors would report to work as usual and the SNAP and WIC programs would stay in operation if there is a partial government shutdown at the end of this week, according to a USDA plan developed for the brief shutdown early this year. Offices running the farm program would be closed, which probably would mean that Trump tariff payments would be delayed until the government opened again.