Hoeven: Senate Approves Phase III Coronavirus Relief Legislation With Nearly $25 Billion in Resources to Help Farmers and Ranchers, Rural America
WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after securing nearly $25 billion in resources for farmers, ranchers and rural America as part of the Senate-passed Phase III coronavirus response. Specifically, the legislation provides:
- $14 billion to replenish Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) borrowing authority for the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- $9.5 billion in separate funding for USDA to help producers, including specialty crop and livestock producers, impacted by COVID-19.
“Our farmers and ranchers have continued to supply our nation with the highest-quality, lowest cost food supply in the world despite the challenges they face,” said Hoeven. “This legislation injects $14 billion into the CCC to provide USDA with resources to assist producers. At the same time, we secured an additional $9.5 billion in emergency funding support for farmers and ranchers, including our livestock and specialty crop producers, impacted by COVID-19. We’ll continue working with USDA Secretary Perdue to get this assistance out to our producers and help them during these challenging times.”
On Monday, Hoeven led a Senate colloquy to outline the importance of providing resources for farmers, ranchers and rural America as part of the Phase III COVID-19 relief legislation, after the original legislation was blocked from advancing. Hoeven also worked with the American Farm Bureau to organize a letter of support from agriculture groups across rural America. Click here for the letter of support.
Additionally the Phase III legislation includes funding to support rural communities, including:
- $20.5 million to enable the Rural Business Cooperative Service to make $1 billion in lending authority available for the Business and Industry loan guarantee program, which provides much-needed financing to business owners that might not be able to qualify for a loan on their own.
- $100 million for the Reconnect Pilot Program to provide grants for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
- $25 million for Distance Learning, Telemedicine and Broadband Program, which supports rural communities accessing telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies for students, teachers, and medical professionals.
The legislation also provides $80 million to help the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) develop medical countermeasures and vaccines, advance domestic manufacturing for medical products, and monitor medical product supply chains, and $25 billion to meet increased needs for nutrition and food assistance programs.
STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT
North Dakota Farmers Union – Mark Watne, President
“The coronavirus pandemic and other market disruptions have created overwhelming challenges for family farmers and ranchers. Cattle and crop prices have fallen further in the last month, just as producers prepare for another growing season. North Dakota Farmers Union thanks Senator Hoeven for responding to those concerns and securing support for our agricultural producers in these uncertain times. We look forward to continuing our work together to develop solutions for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers.”
North Dakota Farm Bureau - Pete Hanebutt, Director of Public Policy
"We're very pleased with the passage of the CARES Act. Senators Hoeven and Cramer have been very sensitive to the special needs of rural North Dakota during this challenging time. The bill addresses many of the concerns of Agriculture across America, and we want to thank the Senators for all their efforts in looking out for rural communities.”
North Dakota Stockmen’s Association – Dan Rorvig, President
“Our nation’s food security is a critical piece of the puzzle in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. American cattle ranchers are vitally important in ensuring safe, wholesome food for this country and our world. Amidst this crisis, we are very grateful for the senator’s hard work and for the CARES package that helps address some of the uncertainty and the incredible losses suffered by those who put food on the world’s table.”
Independent Beef Association of North Dakota – Dwight Keller, President
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic and the free fall of our market, North Dakota ranchers continue to provide a safe and plentiful supply of food for our country. We are thankful for the efforts of Senator Hoeven to provide needed relief to help our industry weather these challenges. We are confident the senator is aware that this is a short term remedy to a long term problem and we thank him for his ongoing help and support of North Dakota livestock ranchers.”
North Dakota Soybean Growers Association – Joe Ericson, President
“We want to thank Sen. Hoeven for his work to fund the CCC, a vital tool to help meet the challenges of COVID-19, trade disruptions and others. It is important to ensure USDA can use the resources provided by the CCC to help producers during this difficult time.”
North Dakota Grain Growers Association – Dennis Haugen, President
“During this time of uncertainty making sure North Dakota and American agriculture remain at the forefront is critically important to maintaining our food security. The North Dakota Grain Growers Association applauds Sen. Hoeven in his efforts to help producers get through this very difficult period.”
North Dakota Corn Growers Association – Randy Melvin, President
“On behalf of the North Dakota Corn Growers Association, we are extremely grateful for Sen. Hoeven’s leadership. We believe the language in this legislation will greatly ease some of the concerns and financial burdens many of the ag producers are facing in our great state.”
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