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 …

After refusing to overturn election, five House ag panelists oppose impeachment

Although they defied President Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, five Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday against impeaching Trump for inciting the deadly mob attack on the Capitol last week. They said that impeachment was divisive and hasty, while the new Agriculture chairman, Georgia Democrat David Scott, said speedy action was needed.

Pro-Trump mob ‘was an attack on American democracy’

The invasion of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was an assault on U.S. democracy, said farm state lawmakers on Wednesday. Rioters interrupted the certification of Joe Biden's election as president over President Trump, who told protesters that he would never concede defeat. Biden and former president George W. Bush called the invasion an insurrection.

First Black chairman of House Ag will fight climate change, rural-urban split

Rep. David Scott of Georgia soundly defeated a California rival in a vote among majority-party Democrats on Thursday to become the first Black chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Scott, who represents a suburban Atlanta district with 313 farms, pledged to tackle an array of issues, most prominently climate change and the rural-urban split, in the new session of Congress opening on Jan. 3.

Democrats claim victory in two House Ag races

Two Democratic members of the House Agriculture Committee, Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney and Antonio Delgado, claimed re-election as vote counting continued in New York State. And in two other undecided races, Democrats halved their opponents' leads, thanks to absentee ballots.

Costa makes it a two-man race for ag gavel

Eight-term Rep. Jim Costa, who represents an agricultural district around Fresno in California's Central Valley, announced his candidacy for chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, saying the committee "should reflect the changing landscape of agriculture in the United States." As the majority party, House Democrats will select the chairman in the weeks ahead.