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Stabenow says there needs to be more accountability on CCC spending

The Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee says there’s no reason USDA should run out of Commodity Credit Corporation funds with October farm bill program payments and COVID-19 assistance.

“From all of the experts giving me information, that’s actually not accurate.  What we have is a fight about whether there should be immediate additional resources without any accountability.”

Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says each fiscal year CCC funds are renewed for up to $30 billion in borrowing authority in mid-November and USDA should be able to manage what’s due to farmers in October as well as COVID payments.

“I think it’s irresponsible not to make sure you’ve got those dollars put aside for the regular October payments, and then the [COVID-19] payouts, the way it’s going to come in on the regular disaster assistance funding certainly can be managed.”

She says if there was a framework as to why USDA needs an early refill over the next 10 weeks, it would be a different situation, but clearly the usage of the money has become a “political slush fund” ahead of the elections.

Stabenow these comments Monday during the Agri-Pulse Ag and Food Policy Summit.

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