Latest Coronavirus Relief Bill Still In Limbo
Lawmakers continue to exchange proposals and blame over the latest coronavirus relief package, with the outcome potentially impacting agriculture. Andrew Walmsley, director of congressional relations with the American Farm Bureau Federation, notes that one of the central components of Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act is expanded liability protections for businesses, including farm operations.
The HEALS Act calls for an additional 20 billion dollars for USDA to provide continued assistance. Walmsley notes that some ag components in the proposal mirror those from the much larger HEROES Act, passed over a month ago by House Democrats.
The previous CARES Act, passed in March, replenished the Commodity Credit Corporation, allowing USDA to put forward its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program while maintaining funds for many Farm Bill programs. Lawmakers will remain in Washington for the next week to finalize a deal before the August recess.