House bill proposes more than $7 billion for rural broadband

Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday proposed a three-year program with $7.35 billion in funding to bring broadband access to rural America. The bill would focus on the most remote and least served areas.

Ten and done, says midwestern Democrat in House

Approaching her 60th birthday, Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, announced she will retire in 2022 after 10 years in the House. "It will be a new decade and I feel it's time for a new voice," said Bustos. Her decision also reflected the shrinking influence of the farm and industrial heartland in the House.

Calls for rural broadband and climate mitigation as pandemic aid hits $24 billion

Rural communities “must have access to broadband” to succeed and climate mitigation provides an opportunity for rural jobs, said a letter drafted for House Agriculture Committee approval on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the USDA said it has paid $24 billion in pandemic relief to farmers and ranchers …

Expect a bipartisan broadband bill, says House Ag chairman

High-speed internet will be the centerpiece of rural economic development legislation drafted by the House Agriculture Committee, said chairman David Scott on Monday. Scott said he expects the committee will call a hearing on rural broadband in early April with a bipartisan bill to follow. …

Debt relief for minority farmers needs more thought, say critics

The House Budget Committee approved an estimated $4 billion of debt relief for minority farmers on Monday as part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Monday, with one member protesting that the aid was unfair. The CBO said due to incomplete data, the cost of paying off USDA loans …

Multibillion-dollar debt relief for minority farmers is backed by House committee

The House Agriculture Committee approved a landmark $4 billion program of debt relief for socially disadvantaged farmers on Wednesday despite Republican objections that the aid was an unconstitutional form of reverse discrimination. Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, said minority farmers deserved the help because they had been overlooked in the mammoth trade war and coronavirus relief programs that began in 2018.

Urban Democrats join House Agriculture Committee

Although the House Agriculture Committee's name screams "rural," three of its new members are urban Democrats: Reps. Bobby Rush from Chicago, Ro Khanna from Silicon Valley, and Luis Correa from Orange County, California.

House panel to vote on SNAP extension and minority farmer debt relief

Following President Biden's lead, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee proposed an extension until Sept. 30 of the temporary 15 percent increase in SNAP benefits on Tuesday. Chairman David Scott also included a sweeping proposal for the government to pay off USDA loans and USDA-guaranteed loans held by socially disadvantaged farmers "to put our Black farmers in a better position" after decades of discrimination. No paywall

House Ag panel will start with climate change

With the resolution of a disputed election in New York State, the House Agriculture Committee is ready for action with climate change as its top issue. “Everything will tie into climate change,” says the committee chief of staff and the first hearing of the year will focus on climate change’s …