Lawmakers pass spending bill to avoid a fourth government shutdown

The deal is good through March 8th.

A short-term spending deal to avoid a partial government shutdown has passed.

It comes just 24 hours before funding would have run out for several agencies, including USDA. The deal is good through March 8th, and Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle warn a shutdown would threaten all Americans, and those working to feed them.

“A shutdown of the agriculture department would threaten higher food costs for all Americans, threaten critical services for farmers in rural communities, from home ownership programs to food banks, and delay access to critical programs, just as spring is arriving,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

“American farmers and ranchers, like the Kentuckians visiting Washington this week, expect us to take the challenges they face in feeding our nation, seriously,” said Senator Mitch McConnell.

Even though a temporary deal is in place funding USDA through early March, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack had a strong warning to Senate ag leaders at their recent committee hearing. He says the consequences of letting funding lapse would hurt America’s farmers.