Ag Funds in Spending Bill

Continuing Resolution Includes Farm Loan, Summer Feeding Programs

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Congressional leaders plan to move quickly on a continuing resolution that would fund the government through April, with passage expected in the House on Thursday and the Senate on Friday (DTN file photo by Nick Scalise)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Congressional appropriators released the text of a continuing resolution that would fund the government through April and also includes provisions to provide money for USDA loans and summer feeding programs.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, which covers 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills, will maintain government operations at a rate of $1.070 trillion through April 28, 2017.

"Extending the continuing resolution into spring will allow Congress to work with the incoming administration on appropriations priorities for the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years," Cochran said. "I remain committed to passing thoughtful, fiscally-responsible bills as this process goes forward."

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., noted that the bill contains "a provision allowing funds to begin operation of a summer nutrition program for low-income children."

Ferd Hoefner, the policy director of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, said in an email that Section 146 of the bill contains a provision calling for the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund Program account to be "apportioned up to the rate for operations necessary to fund loans for which applications are approved."

The farm credit provision was included after farm groups sent a letter to appropriators that it was "absolutely critical that measures be taken to ensure that the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has the resources in hand to meet rising demand for direct and guaranteed farm credit, including during the peak winter and spring months when demand for production loans is highest."

The bill also includes Agriculture emergency watershed and conservation funding.

Congressional leaders plan to move the bill quickly, with passage expected in the House on Thursday and the Senate on Friday, Politico reported.

(AG/ES)

Jerry Hagstrom