Hoeven Statement on Additional Covid Relief for Families, Small Businesses, Health Care

As Chairman of Ag Appropriations, Hoeven Worked to Include Support for Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after Congress approved additional COVID-19 relief to support individuals and families, small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, and provide much needed resources for health care and vaccine distribution. As chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to include nearly $13 billion in total to support farmers, ranchers and the agriculture sector.

The legislation provides targeted relief. Hoeven worked with his colleagues to ensure that the assistance was targeted to meet needs, while using funding as cost-effectively as possible. The legislation utilizes $350 billion in new funding and repurposes $550 billion from the Coronavirus Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is in contrast to the House of Representatives’ $3.4 trillion HEROES Act.

“Given the continued challenges of this pandemic, this legislation provides targeted relief for families, small businesses and health care needs,” said Hoeven. “As the chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, I worked to ensure that the bill supports our farmers and ranchers, providing an additional $13 billion for the agriculture industry. The legislation builds on the CARES Act Congress passed earlier this year and includes another round of PPP to help our small businesses and their employees. Additionally, the legislation utilizes unspent funds from the CARES Act to provide assistance in targeted way that helps meet the challenges of this pandemic.” 

The $13 billion for agriculture, includes:

  • Support for producers of non-specialty crops by providing a payment of $20/acre. North Dakota producers are estimated to receive upwards of $360 million.
  • An inventory top-up payment for cattle producers to more closely align payment rates under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 1 and CFAP 2.
  • Funding for a grant program to allow small meat processors to make improvements to become federally inspected.
  • Support for producers forced to depopulate livestock due to insufficient processing capacity.   

Senator Hoeven also worked to include a provision to establish a livestock statutory dealer trust to ensure unpaid sellers of livestock are given priority in collecting receivables in the event of a dealer default. Hoeven is a cosponsor of standalone legislation to establish a livestock dealer trust.

Additionally, the legislation:

  • Provides up to $600 in direct financial assistance for individuals.
  • Funds a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses and their employees.
  • Supports health care providers, including vaccine development and distribution.
  • Provides funding to help schools and teachers.
  • Extends pandemic unemployment insurance programs and includes a $300 federal supplement for 16 weeks.
  • Provides rental assistance and extends the federal moratorium on evictions through January 31.
  • Extends forbearance for federal student loans through April 1.