All Eyes On the GOP for Second Round of COVID Economic Relief

Jul 24, 2020  | 3 min  | Ep4549

Sec. Steve Mnuchin/U.S. Treasury Department: “The recovery act – CARES 4.0…The good news is, a lot of the $3 trillion we still have left to put in the economy and put back to work.  We’re focused on starting with another trillion dollars.  We think that will make a big impact.”

Early this week, the White House and U.S. Senate began negotiations on more coronavirus related economic assistance. Deficit hawks within the GOP are railing against the measure.

Sen. Rand Paul/R-Kentucky:  “Adding another trillion dollars is the most fiscally irresponsible thing I’ve ever heard of.  Everything they ever said about president Obama…everything they ever said about the Democrats…they are!”

The so-called “fundamental agreement” will tee-up discussions with Democrats, who passed an over $3 trillion bill in the U.S. House.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi/D-California/Speaker of the House: “We offered this legislation.  We thought they would counter with something that was at least reconcilable.”

Republicans are under pressure to move quickly on more aid as COVID-19 cases and deaths surge domestically.

Sen. Chuck Grassley/R-Iowa:  “We think it fills a big hole we didn’t anticipate in March when the first CARES package come out and we put 24 and a half billion dollars into the CCC program, of which 19 and a half billion dollars has been dispersed by now.”

Farm state Senators recently introduced bills to increase the number and type of ethanol feedstocks as well as working to clear red tape from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. If adopted, the measures would unleash more emergency assistance for livestock producers, dairy operators, and meat processors.  Those efforts could find their way into the larger aid package.

Sen. Chuck Grassley/R-Iowa:  “Nobody anticipated the shutdown of slaughtering houses and all the stuff that we now know.”

The National Pork Producers Association is seeking further federal aid for its members dealing with COVID-related supply-chain disruptions resulting in on-farm euthanization of healthy hogs.  Local representation in the nation’s top pork-producing state says pandemic concerns are just the latest in a long string of challenges for the swine industry.

Mike Paustian/President – Iowa Pork Producers Association:  “In the two years leading up to this, we’d been facing a lot of headwinds due to the disruptions in trading that have been happening.  Pork producers were on the spear-tip of retaliation for some of the tariffs that were being put on against some of our products.  This was supposed to be a year where things kind of turned around a little bit…and now the projection is that collectively, pork producers are going to lose up to 5 billion dollars this year.”

For Market to Market, I’m Josh Buettner.

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