Marshall, Johnson Prioritize Cattle Country in Phase III COVID-19 Agreement

March 19, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today urged U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to ensure relief for rural America, specifically cattle ranchers, is included in any Phase III COVID-19 stimulus agreement.

“Ranchers are resilient. They can handle the uncertainty of weather, the free market and other challenges that come their way. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing we've seen before and the cattle market has been in a free fall as a result,” said the Representatives.  “Additionally, we’ve seen the box beef- live cattle spread widen, leaving no margin for struggling producers as beef flies off grocery store shelves. We are committed to maintaining the supply chain and doing everything in our power to work towards functioning, competitive markets that allow independent producers to thrive. But in the short term, we need relief immediately. As such we are requesting that any deal provides for an increase in the borrowing authority to $50 billion and fully funds the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation, as well as ensures that livestock are eligible for assistance in this time of need.”

Full text of the letter below:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi 
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives 
H-232, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy, 

We are writing to request that any Phase III agreement include relief for rural America, specifically for our farmers, cattle feeders, and ranchers. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had an unprecedented and unpredictable impact. The cattle market has taken a devastating dive and the futures market has caused even more stress and uncertainty.

Ranchers are resilient. They can handle the uncertainty of weather, the free market and other challenges that come their way. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing we've seen before and the cattle market has been in a free fall as a result. Additionally, we’ve seen the box beef- live cattle spread widen, leaving no margin for struggling producers as beef flies off grocery store shelves.

We are committed to maintaining the supply chain and doing everything in our power to work towards functioning, competitive markets that allow independent producers to thrive. But in the short term, we need relief immediately. As such we are requesting that any deal provides for an increase in the borrowing authority to $50 billion and fully funds the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation, as well as ensures that livestock are eligible for assistance in this time of need. 

Sincerely,

 

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