House Democrats are proposing to block President Donald Trump’s aid to farmers amidst the country’s tariff fight with China, which could have a devastating impact on America’s farmers.
The Washington Post revealed Thursday that it has reviewed a draft of a bill written by House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) that would block Trump’s ability to help farmers while the country fights China’s unfair trade practices.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a tweet Thursday that Democrats are trying to “squeeze” American farmers by blocking this aid.
“Farming is hard enough work as it is. But now Democrats are trying to squeeze American farmers even more by blocking a program that helps them withstand China’s unfair trade policies,” said McCarthy. “We’ve got to start putting America first!”
Farming is hard enough work as it is. But now Democrats are trying to squeeze American farmers even more by blocking a program that helps them withstand China's unfair trade policies. We’ve got to start putting America first!
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 12, 2019
The Trump administration created the farmer aid program in 2018 after China had stopped buying farmers’ crops as part of America’s tariffs on Chinese imports. Trump has pushed for billions of dollars to help offset the cost of the tariff fight.
The Agriculture Department plans to spend $28 billion over two years; however, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) has a $30 billion cap that it will likely hit this year. This means that it will fall upon Congres to help mitigate the cost of America’s tariff fight with China.
However, Lowey left out Trump’s request that would allow them to avert the spending cap through the CCC.
In September, the Trump administration sent a letter to Congress asking for changes that would increase how much money it could use through the CCC to help farmers.
The Trump administration warned lawmakers in the letter that if Congress does not provide additional funding in time, the CCC “would have to stop making payments . . . posing a serious risk for the farmers and ranchers supported by these programs.”