We want a voice, too, say Republican senators
The 11 Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee asked chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on Thursday to open up the decision-making process on how to spend a potential windfall of $135 billion. Stabenow has said Democrats would apportion the money by themselves because Republicans uniformly voted against the Senate budget resolution that would make the money available.
In a letter, the Republicans said the committee should call witnesses from across the country to public hearings “to learn more about the needs of our nation’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, rural communities, and those participating in our nutrition programs.” As a matter of senatorial courtesy and fundamental fairness, all committee members “should have an opportunity to discuss and amend the committee’s reconciliation package,” they said.
The $135 billion, to be spread over a decade, would equal a 9% increase from pre-pandemic spending by the USDA. The budget resolution says it should be spent in six areas, ranging from child nutrition and debt relief to land stewardship and climate mitigation.