(Washington) -- Recent developments--including the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--have diverted attention from other issues in the nation's capital.
One of those is the effort to keep the federal government running past September 30th. Negotiations continue in Washington, D.C. on a continuing resolution that would avert a government shutdown. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Wednesday morning, Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne says having to pass continuing stopgap bills is nothing Congress should be proud of.
"While we did the job, I would say, in the House back a couple months ago," said Axne, "when we put 10 of our 12 bills out there for appropriation, the Senate didn't come to the table with anything. So, this is where we're ending up. We're ending up with what is called a continuing resolution. It funds government. This one will fund government through December 11th, then we'll have to make another decision then to really make sure the funding goes out to the departments."
The bill passed in the U.S. House late Tuesday evening included language replenishing the Commodity Credit Corporation, which finances farm bill programs supporting farm profitability and conservation, as well as pandemic assistance for farmers. Axne says she pushed for the CCC's inclusion after it was excluded from the original continuing resolution.
"That was not included in the Democratic House's proposal," she said. "I fought back against our leadership, and said, 'we are not going to get behind this unless farmers get the aid we need.' This allowed the USDA to borrow a maximum of $30 billion for farm payments. That's what the CCC does--getting money into the CR helps us make sure we are replenishing that, and that we don't hit the cap so that, we can support our farmers, and our ag communities."
The West Des Moines Democrat says the program's inclusion is vital to farmers.
"Here's the problem: COVID-19, the derecho that just went through, the trade war, the Renewable Fuel Standard waivers, and certainly, in many parts of our state, still the flood impacting us from last year--all of those things have impacted our farmers," said Axne. "We need to make sure we're getting the funding into their hands, so that they can continue to operate, and feed our country and this world."
Also included in the House's resolution is a restriction preventing the USDA from using CCC funds to provide payments to oil refiners and undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard. You can hear the full interview with Cindy Axne on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.