Baldwin and Pocan lead bipartisan call for more COVID-19 aid to farmers.

The bicameral team from Wisconsin demanded that Congress include a $1 billion nation-wide aid program for farmers in its upcoming COVID-19 relief package. Photo: William Garrett, licensed under creative commons.

Author: Sam Buisman

Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin and Mark Pocan lead a bipartisan group of legislators in demanding more COVID-19 relief for farmers. 

The Democratic senator and congressman co-signed a letter to congressional leaders with a bipartisan coalition of House and Senate members demanding that the Farming Support to States Act be incorporated into the larger COVID-19 aid package being debated in Congress. If included, the Farming Support to States Act would distribute $1 billion in aid between states based on their agricultural needs. 

In their letter, the lawmakers pitched this bill as the best way to preserve food security during the pandemic.

“To get ahead of potentially catastrophic impacts to the food supply and keep food moving,” reads the letter, “we must get resources into the hands of the people best situated to develop smart, tactical responses: the people who work in this industry.” 

Senator Baldwin was part of the bipartisan and bicameral team of five lawmakers that introduced the Farming Support to States Act as an independent piece of legislation back in May. 

The first round of federal coronavirus relief provided by the CARES Act allowed Wisconsin to create the Wisconsin Farm Support Program in late May, a $50 million grant fund for Wisconsin farmers struggling under COVID-19. According to the Office of the Governor, the state has already distributed $41.6 million through this program to Wisconsin farmers. 

While nothing is certain, some spectators believe that Congress will complete and pass its second COVID-19 relief package sometime in August.