January 27, 2020

Farm Bill and Budget Issues; Ag Economy; Immigration

Farm Bill and Budget Issues: Recap- Friday

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported on Friday that, “In an interview with DTN, [Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack] said USDA faces the prospect of a dual fiscal problem hitting the department on Tuesday. USDA employees go into the weekend knowing the farm bill expires Sept. 30, as well as waiting to see if Congress will keep the government operating.

“The uncertainty of not having a farm bill will affect USDA employees first. ‘When you add to that the disruptive nature of the lack of clarity about the budget, it’s a very stressful time for those who work at USDA,’ Vilsack said.

“The Senate passed a bill Friday 54-44 to keep operating the federal government until Nov. 15. The bill reinstated funds for the Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare.’ The House and Senate have to come to terms by Tuesday or much of the federal government will shut down.”

Mr. Clayton explained that, “The short-term budget plan passed by the Senate Friday does not include any language to extend farm-bill programs.

“Each federal department has different staffers who will remain on the job. USDA has people whose jobs directly relate to safety such as firefighters, who are considered essential. Other people paid through permit fees in areas already hit by sequestration furloughs will remain on the job for now.”