clearn.png
Friday November 27th, 2020 8:18PM

Shutdown could block federal aid to farmers hit by trade war

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The end of 2018 seemed to signal good things to come for America's farmers. Fresh off the passage of the farm bill, which reauthorized agriculture, conservation and safety net programs, the USDA last week announced a second round of direct payments to growers hardest hit by President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Then the government shut down.

The USDA in a statement issued last week assured farmers that checks would continue to go out during the first week of the shutdown. But direct payments for farmers who haven't certified production, as well as farm loans and disaster assistance programs, will be put on hold beginning next week, and won't start up again until the government reopens.

There is little chance of the government shutdown ending soon. Trump and Congress are no closer to reaching a deal over his demand for border wall funding, and both sides say the impasse could drag well into January.

Although certain vital USDA programs will remain operational in the short term, that could change if the shutdown lasts for more than a few weeks.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, helps feed roughly 40 million Americans. According to the USDA, eligible recipients are guaranteed benefits through January. Other feeding programs, including WIC, which provides food aid and nutrition counseling for pregnant women, new mothers and children, and food distribution programs on Indian reservations, will continue on a local level, but additional federal funding won't be provided. School lunch programs will continue through February.

USDA has earmarked about $9.5 billion in direct payments for growers of soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum and other commodities most affected by tariffs. The first round of payments went out in September. The deadline to sign up for the second round of payments is January 15.

The impact of the shutdown, which began shortly before most federal workers were scheduled for a holiday break, started coming into focus by midweek.

About 420,000 employees are working without pay, while another 380,000 are being forced to stay home. In the past, federal employees have been paid retroactively. But government contractors won't get paid for hours they'll lose staying home, causing problems for those who rely on hourly wages.

In anticipation of the financial bind many federal workers and contractors may soon find themselves in, the Office of Personnel Management offered some advice: haggle with landlords, creditors and mortgage companies for lower payments until the shutdown is over.

The shutdown also is affecting national parks, although unevenly: Some remain accessible with bare-bones staffing levels, some are operating with money from states or charitable groups, while others are locked off.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
From duct-taped shoes to $11M: Man leaves surprise donations
A Washington state social worker built up an $11 million estate that he left to children's charities and came as a surprise to those closest to him
2:48PM ( 14 minutes ago )
California's Jerry Brown caps 5 decades on political scene
California Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation's most populous state
2:45PM ( 18 minutes ago )
NYC utility probes electric flash that lit sky in eerie blue
Utility Con Edison is working to figure out what caused a high-voltage equipment failure that unleashed an otherworldly flash of bright blue light in the night sky over New York City
2:35PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Protests as Congo leader warns of Ebola election 'disaster'
Protests erupt as Congo's leader warns of 'disaster' if Sunday's vote is allowed in Ebola zone
1:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Mexican president reacts to Trump with caution
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has reacted cautiously to a threat by President Donald Trump to close the border
1:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
Officials: California officer killed by man in US illegally
For a third day, authorities are pursuing a man accused of killing a California officer during a traffic stop
1:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Franklin attorney: $3 million in back taxes paid to IRS
An attorney says Aretha Franklin's estate has paid at least $3 million in back taxes to the IRS since her death in August
11:52AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Democrats refuse to fund Trump's "immoral" wall
Nancy Pelosi's office says Democrats will not fund Trump's "immoral, ineffective and expensive wall" as partial government shutdown drags on
11:30AM ( 3 hours ago )
GOP and Democrats trade blame for shutdown, no deal in sight
The partial government shutdown will almost certainly be handed off to a divided government to solve in the new year
11:20AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Browns owners agree to buy Columbus Crew, keep team in Ohio
Browns owners agree to buy Columbus Crew, keeping longtime MLS franchise in Ohio
1:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Pelosi taps Florida Democrat to lead climate change panel
Pelosi appoints Florida Rep. Kathy Castor to lead special committee on climate change, replacing panel eliminated by Republicans
1:38PM ( 1 hour ago )
Utah gears up to implement nation's lowest DUI limit
New Year's Eve revelers in Utah could find themselves with more than a hangover as 2019 dawns: If they drink and drive, they could end up on the wrong side of the nation's newest and lowest DUI threshold.
11:44AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Markets Right Now: US stocks open with modest gains
Stocks are opening higher Friday as U.S. markets try to maintain the momentum from a late-day rally on Thursday
9:43AM ( 5 hours ago )
Tesla names Oracle's Ellison to board in SEC settlement
Tesla names Oracle's Ellison and Walgreens executive to board as part of settlement with US regulators
8:52AM ( 6 hours ago )
Bangladesh's growth-minded iron lady vies for re-election
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is poised to win re-election as critics question whether the nation's tremendous economic success has undermined its fragile democracy
6:40AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
From duct-taped shoes to $11M: Man leaves surprise donations
A Washington state social worker built up an $11 million estate that he left to children's charities and came as a surprise to those closest to him
2:48PM ( 17 minutes ago )
California's Jerry Brown caps 5 decades on political scene
California Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation's most populous state
2:45PM ( 20 minutes ago )
NYC utility probes electric flash that lit sky in eerie blue
Utility Con Edison is working to figure out what caused a high-voltage equipment failure that unleashed an otherworldly flash of bright blue light in the night sky over New York City
2:35PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Bomb strikes tourist bus near Egypt's Giza pyramids, kills 2
Egyptian security officials say a roadside bomb has hit a tourist bus in an area near the Giza Pyramids, killing two Vietnamese tourists, injuring 12 others
2:26PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Wells Fargo pays $575 million to settle state investigations
Wells Fargo to pay $575 million to settle state investigations into phony accounts, other practices.
2:14PM ( 51 minutes ago )