Tag Archives: Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Debbie Stabenow, the incoming Senate Agriculture Committee chair, this week urged the Department of Agriculture to implement the bipartisan worker protection provisions in the COVID-19 assistance package.

The Michigan Democrat says, “In order to repair our food supply and feed families in need, USDA must prioritize safety in addition to food purchases.” In the recently passed COVID-19 assistance package, Congress provided no less than $1.5 billion to fund food purchases for distribution to those in need, provide worker protection measures, and retooling support for farmers, farmers markets, and food processors.

The provision was inspired by Stabenow’s bipartisan Food Supply Protection Act to help protect the food supply after the COVID-19 crisis put an unprecedented strain on farmers, workers and food banks. USDA recently announced funding for food purchases through the Farmers to Families Food Box program, but has yet to commit additional funds to protect workers and ensure the continuity of the food supply chain.

With Democrats winning the two Georgia runoff Senate elections this week and a 50-50 majority expected in the chamber, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow is poised to be the next Senate Agriculture Committee Chair.

Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, also a Democrat, will preside over the Senate, giving Democrats the slim majority. With full control by Democrats in Washington, D.C., farmers and ranchers can expect climate, along with the next farm bill, to dominate ag policy.

Stabenow told Agri-Pulse this week, “As chair of the Agriculture Committee, we’re going to lead an effort to create a voluntary climate exchange,” adding climate policy for farmers and ranchers is a top priority. Stabenow was previously chair of the committee from 2011-2015, the last time Democrats had majority control of the Senate. In the Georgia runoff elections this week,

Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeated Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, giving Democrats the narrow majority. Loeffler was a member of the Senate Ag Committee.