October 20, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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House easily approves stopgap funding bill, avoids shutdown | US & Canada

House easily approves stopgap funding bill, avoids shutdown |  US & Canada

Shortly after President Donald Trump won a backstage fight over his agricultural stimulus, the government on Tuesday night passed an interim government broad funding bill.

The stopgap measure will run federal agencies fully through December, giving lame-duck legislators time to digest the election and then decide whether to pass the annual government funding bills or take them to the next administration. The United States government budget ends September 30.

The 359-57 vote came after an agreement was reached to authorize the Trump administration to remove Department of Agriculture subsidies on Election Day. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi withdrew from the initial draft, which caused a stir with Republicans and agro-state Democrats.

Instead, during Tuesday’s talks, the Pelosi administration revived the farm aid funds it sought, which provoked the wrath of Democrats who say Trump is playing political will with bailout money for farmers and ranchers.

In turn, Pelosi won COVID-related food aid for the poor, including a high food benefit for families whose children could not get free or reduced meals because schools were closed. Another add-on states allow for food stamps and the elimination of nutritional assistance for low-income mothers.

The measure ran in the House after a speedy debate over whether to see it run smoothly in the Republican-controlled Senate before next week’s deadline.

American farmers are suffering from lower commodity prices and the effects of higher trade tariffs imposed by President Trump. At a political rally in Wisconsin last week, the president announced a $ 13 billion bailout funding allocation. The provision that Republicans want will keep the door open for additional election Eve announcements.

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Democrats have complained that the Trump administration in the distribution of bailout funds is a key swing state for large agricultural producers and southern states such as Georgia – and the home of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“The Trump administration has proven that they can not trust the fair distribution of payments,” said Debbie Stabeno, a Michigan senator and top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Senator Pat Roberts, a Republican chairman of the Agriculture Panel in Kansas, was outraged that Democrats were ignoring farm aid.

“I understand that people are upset with the secretary and he does or will do anything or anything related [farm] Funding, ”Roberts said.

“But it is very necessary and 45 to 50 programs are at risk, in the midst of the COVID thing, the agricultural crisis and the whole business,” he says.

The Stopgap funding bill came as talks on the massive COVID-19 relief bill collapsed following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the Senate advanced in the election season Supreme Court confirmation fight.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats appeared to be ‘hung up’ on whether to include farm assistance in the stop-gap spending bill. [Al Drago/Reuters]

Congress aides close to the talks portrayed the farm facility as a bargaining chip seeking comparable wins for Democrats, while Republican negotiators refused to provide funding for states to hold House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s early requests for census rules and to hold elections.

Nearly one-third of the federal government’s daily budget is passed in the bill, which goes to cabinet agency activities with congressional funding.

The annual allocation process in the Senate earlier this year broke down and it is unclear whether $ 3.3 trillion in agency spending bills will be implemented this year, even in the post-election lame-duck session, especially if Joe Biden replaces Trump if elected.

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In the past, both Democrats and Republicans have called for the use of government funding deadlines and leveraged provisional funding bills to try to get concessions elsewhere on the Washington agenda. Such attempts have consistently failed.

In 2013, Republicans used it in a failed attempt to prevent the so-called “Obamacare” healthcare law, and the Senate Democrats returned in favor in 2018 in a futile attempt to force the debate on allowing immigrants to bring children into the country – the “Dreamers” – to stay in the US.

Pelosi said he would not attempt such a confrontation this year.

“We are not about to shut down the government,” Pelosi told MSNBC on Monday. “And it’s not a lever.”

The law, known as the Continuing Resolution, will run each federal agency until December 11 at the current funding level, which will keep the government afloat in the election.

The measure extends a number of programs that reduce funding or powers on Sept. 30, including the federal flood insurance program, a set of extensions of highway and transportation programs, and various health programs – such as the provision to prevent Medicaid cuts to hospitals that provide services to many poor people.

If Joe Biden wins the White House and there is a chance that the unwillingness to raise health insurance costs for elderly Americans under Medicare will be caused by COVID, it will transition to a new administration.