ICYMI: Johnson Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Support Farmers Impacted by COVID-19

April 28, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Austin Scott (GA-08), along with several House colleagues, introduced legislation to increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) response to COVID-19. The legislation would provide an additional $50 billion for USDA to expand relief efforts for farmers and ranchers. Click here to read the full bill. 

“Our producers and our supply chains are at a breaking point,” said Johnson. “I’m grateful USDA and the administration recognize the pressure our farmers are facing and are working on immediate relief. But the writing is on the wall, this relief is going to run out too quickly and we need to be prepared. I will continue to fight for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers who are working every single day to ensure America maintains its strong supply chain.” 

Johnson has been in constant communication with the administration and USDA since COVID-19 began impacting U.S. supply chains and producers in March. On March 16, Johnson, along with Senator Tillis (R-NC), urged USDA to take all necessary steps to ensure there are no disruptions to our nation’s food supply. Additionally, on March 19, Johnson requested U.S. House leadership include $50 billion in aid for farmers and ranchers. Several of the South Dakota delegation’s requests were included in the final text of the CARES Act. 

Earlier this month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the creation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides $16 billion in direct relief to farmers who have suffered losses due to market supply chain collapses and $3 billion for USDA to purchase fresh meat, dairy, and produce from farmers to distribute to food banks, community and faith based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.