House posts CR, Rules hearing begins

-The Hagstrom Report

The House Democratic leadership has posted the text of a continuing resolution to fund the government at current levels past the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The House Rules Committee hearing on the CR and other legislation began at 1 p.m. and is being livestreamed on the House Rules website.

The CR runs 104 pages.

House Rules Committee ranking member Tom Cole, R-Okla., said early in the hearing that the CR would leave out the anomaly that would allow the Agriculture Department to use the Commodity Credit Corporation to continue to make payments to farmers and also leaves out the continuation of the Pandemic EBT program that provided payments to families with children who are not getting school meals.

Cole said he regretted that these provisions were left out and that he wishes the House could vote on an earlier version that included them.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a news release today, “Iowa farmers are facing significant challenges right now between COVID-19, a derecho, and a drought. The last thing they need is for Congress to strip away essential supports they’ve come to rely upon.“

“For over three decades Congress has acted in an overwhelmingly bipartisan way to replenish a fund that supports the bipartisan farm bill programs — key issues like conservation and dairy programs, and so much more,” Ernst said.

“This is no time for political games. I’m calling on all of my farm state colleagues in the House and the Senate — Republicans and Democrats — to stand with farmers and demand this support be included in the upcoming government funding bill.”

Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he was glad the House introduced the continuing resolution and urged its passage in both the House and Senate as soon as possible.

“The last thing our country needs is a government shutdown in the middle of a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic crisis,” Leahy said. “But make no mistake, the urgent need for this continuing resolution is a symptom of a dysfunctional Congress. It’s a senseless and entirely avoidable made-in-Washington crisis.