Proposed ag budget changes would reduce discretionary CCC access

The House Appropriations Subcommittee’s proposed ag budget will reduce spending by removing Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack’s discretionary use of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Representative G.T. Thompson says this is funding that should have gone through Congress, not the USDA.

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is getting attention in the proposed ag budget. The Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee says the proposed budget would reduce spending by removing United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s discretionary use of the CCC.

The Corporation was created to stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices—especially during the trade war with China during the Trump Administration.

This new restriction will neither affect the funding for the 2023 Farm Bill funding nor the ability to access funds in the event of an animal- or plant-health emergency.

Rep. G.T. Thompson, the Republican from Pennsylvania and House Ag Committee Chairman spoke to the change in a hearing earlier this week.

“I appreciate the work that they did,” Rep. Thompson said. “I’m not sure that we’re going to have to [make this change.] I think, perhaps, if this is successful the whole way through the appropriations process, they will address that issue.”

Rep. Thompson went on to reassert how CCC funds should be properly allocated, highlighting some vital functions of the Corporation’s ability to aid American farmers and ranchers in times of crisis — at the same time, alluding to misuses in recent years.

“I do think there was some—a little more—liberty taken into dipping into that CCC than what should have been,” he said. “That is supposed to help farmers farm when they get into issues, right? It’s to pay off crop insurance. It’s to help pay the dairy margin coverage when it’s triggered by the margin. It is where we pay for the conservation programs. All things that are really about helping farmers facing struggles and issues.”

Thompson also said this funding should have gone through Congress, not the USDA Department of Agriculture.

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