As the U.S. Senate argues over how much money to give out, and to whom, to keep the economy from collapsing, Sen. Deb Fischer told her colleagues that the outbreak is driving down crop and livestock prices.
Here are some of her remarks:
“Here we are talking, which is a good thing if we come to a positive outcome. But we don’t have much time.”
“We have small businesses across this country that are hurting. I’ve heard from my dentist. I’ve heard from my neighbors who are very concerned about what is going on and if they are going to be able to provide for their employees, their families, and have a business to come back to.”
“This coronavirus is adding another dimension to an already battered agriculture economy and this disease has been driving down crop and livestock prices.”
“Ag futures have been dipping since February, prices offered for ranchers’ cattle have been dropping, ethanol plants are starting to idle or close down across the country, and there’s a lot of unsold grain sitting around the countryside in on farm storage.”
“Beef sales are increasing as are boxed beef prices. Producers need to be able to share in the price gains of unexpected surge in demand.”
“This provision is needed. These dollars are the vehicle that we can use to get our producers the relief they need during these tough times. You know so many times I hear from my neighbors: you leave agriculture out all the time, you don’t think about rural America…and to have colleagues on the other side put off a vote is appalling. People are suffering. People must be helped. We need to be here to provide relief.”
The debate stalled again Monday, as it did all weekend. Senate Republicans and Democrats struggle to agree on the provisions of what is shaping up to be the biggest peacetime federal bailout in history, in the neighborhood of $2 trillion.