Democrats Proposing Delay in MFP Payments

Democrats are proposing at least a delay in Market Facilitation Program payments to farmers hit hard by ongoing trade wars with China and other countries. House Appropriations Chair Nita Lowey is proposing to leave an extension of spending authority for tariff rescue, or Market Facilitation Program payments, out of a short-term spending bill to keep the government open.

The Commodity Credit Corporation’s $30 billion borrowing limit is expected to be hit before USDA completes the second-round of MFP unless Congress acts. American Farm Bureau’s RJ Karney says AFB is not pleased.

“Farm Bureau does have serious concerns with the recent reports, with the draft House continuing resolution that’s circulating.”

Especially with farmers facing trade wars, disasters, continued low prices, and labor shortages.

“And, any attempt to not include the Commodity Credit Corporation’s anomaly, would be detrimental to farmers and ranchers.”

And could also affect other payments like CRP, ARC, and PLC. Republicans say they won’t accept MFP limits with the trade disputes continuing, but can’t say if the move is a negotiating tactic or simply politics, in trying to hurt the president with his base. But AFB’s Karney adds, “This was the initial draft that was sent over to the Senate.  So, our understanding is, there are negotiations underway…and, as the chairwoman said, things could still change.”

Including if the GOP-controlled Senate insists on an MFP ‘fix’ in its short-term spending bill. Without a ‘fix,’ USDA says the timing of the trade payments could be impacted. Just 2-point-3 billion of 14-and-a-half billion had been paid as of early September.

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