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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called on Congress to immediately reimburse the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). 

CCC provides mandatory funding for some of the Farm Bill’s most important provisions.  Notably, it funds safety net programs that provide farm payments when crop prices or revenues decline for major commodity crops. The Trump administration has called for a replenishment of its borrowing authority to cover the programs and payments funded by CCC as required by law.

Senator Fischer’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Mr. President, I want to thank my colleague from North Dakota for allowing me to speak on behalf of the thousands of farmers and ranchers in Nebraska. 

In 2018, Nebraska generated around $21.3 billion in agricultural cash receipts Agriculture and Ag Processing accounts for 9.4 of the state’s GDP.

The agricultural production complex accounts for approximately one-quarter of our GDP and workforce. By these measures, agriculture plays a greater role in Nebraska’s economy than it does in the economy of any other U.S. state.

When agriculture suffers, Nebraska suffers, and over the last several years, our farmers and ranchers have done their fair share of suffering. 

As my colleague mentioned, USDA’s most recent farm income projections forecast that cash receipts will be at their lowest level in more than a decade. 

As a rancher, I know how difficult it is to plan for the future when you are facing so many factors that are out of your control: Low commodity prices, retaliatory tariffs, natural disasters, and a global pandemic

Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers have maintained patience in these tough times – they deserve to know without a doubt that, amidst all of the unpredictability they are experiencing, Congress will hold up our end of the bargain.

For decades, the Commodity Credit Corporation has been routinely replenished to fund programs that are integral to the farm safety net. 

Producers count on programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Marketing Assistance Loans, conservation programs, and others.  

For PLC alone, U.S. farmers are expected to receive $4.7 billion in October. Of that total, Nebraska farmers are anticipating $180 million in program payments.  

Without immediate CCC reimbursement, these payments and programs would be significantly delayed, jeopardizing farms and across the country. In Nebraska there are nearly 46,000 farms and ranches.

More than 40 agriculture and commodity groups wrote congressional leadership this week with a very clear message: Blocking the inclusion of CCC reimbursement in a CR would hurt farmers and ranchers.

We must come together to fund the programs that we—Republicans and Democrats alike-- have voted for in countless Farm Bills. Our farmers and ranchers rely on these programs now more than ever. Congress must keep its commitment these hardworking men and women. 

I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate not to allow politics to stand in the way of upholding our commitment to the hardworking men and women who work tirelessly day in and day out to keep food on our tables.

Our producers aren’t just thinking about themselves – they are planning for the future generations that will proudly carry on their lives’ work and continue feeding our world. 

Let’s make sure to fund the programs that ensure they can to do just that.