BISMARCK, N.D. - The U.S. Senate passed a budget this week that avoids a government shutdown until the end of January. However, the threat of a Christmas shutdown could impact a $14-Billion trade relief package for farmers.
The Market Facilitation Program assists farmers hurt by the two year trade dispute with China. The final round of payments to farmers are scheduled for January. However, if the federal government goes into a shutdown after the December deadline, it is uncertain if farmers will receive their January relief payments on-time.
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who chairs the Senate’s Agriculture Committee said, "The (Farm Service) Agency has previously brought staff back in to provide essential services during shutdowns, and we would work to ensure they do so again for MFP."
Hoeven did not confirm whether the payments would roll out in the event of a January shutdown.