Five White Farmers Sue over Loan Forgiveness Only for Blacks, Other Minorities

Group of farmers harvesting crops

Christopher Baird owns a dairy farm near Ferryville in southwest Wisconsin, not far from the Mississippi River. He milks about 50 cows and farms approximately 80 acres of pasture.

Like a lot of farmers, Baird has direct loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. 

But the dairy farmer isn’t entitled to a new FSA loan-forgiveness program provided as part of COVID-19 relief in the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, legislation touted Wednesday night by President Joe Biden in his address to Congress. 

Baird is white. He joined four other white farmers Thursday in suing federal officials over being left out.

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Tennessee House Passes Bill to Cancel Excise Tax for Certain COVID-19 Relief Payments to Businesses

The Tennessee House passed a bill cancelling the excise tax on certain COVID-19 payments given to businesses. The legislation would cover all payments from March 1 to December 31 of last year. 

If passed, the bill would apply to payments from the Tennessee Business Relief Program, the Tennessee Supplemental Employer Recovery Grant Program, the Coronavirus Agricultural and Forestry Business Fund, the Hospital Staffing Assistance Program, the Emergency Medical Services Ambulance Assistance Program, the Tennessee Small and Rural Hospital Readiness Grants Program, or the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant.

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Virginia Republicans Criticize CASH Act for Not Including Spending Cuts

Three of Virginia’s Republican congressmen voted against the Caring for Americans with Supplemental Health (CASH) Act on Monday night, noting that while the bill would increase a taxpayer stimulus from $600 to $2,000, it failed to include the necessary budget cuts. Despite that, the bill did pass the House, 275 to 134.

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Virginia Legislators Blast 5,593 Page House Bill Passed Just Hours After Legislators Get The Full Draft

The U.S. House of Representatives leadership gave legislators just hours to consider a 5,593-page omnibus spending bill incorporating over $900 billion of coronavirus relief and $1.4 in government funding for fiscal year 2021. The bill was made available on Monday afternoon, with voting beginning on Monday evening, where it passed just after nine p.m.

“After several delays and last-minute haggling, we finally began receiving text of the COVID relief bill at 11:30 am this morning. This bill is likely to be thousands of pages, so I’m canceling my afternoon appointments & digging into the bill. As Reagan said, “Trust, but verify,” Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA06) tweeted.

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Congress Agrees on Coronavirus Relief Package After Months of Negotiations

Congress agreed on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package Sunday, overcoming several last-minute stalemates over the Federal Reserve’s lending powers and direct cash payments, Senate leaders announced.

“At long last, we have the bipartisan breakthrough the country has needed,” Senate Majority Leader McConnell said Sunday on the Senate floor. “I hope we can do this as promptly as possible.”

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Sen. Warner: New Relief Bill Will Likely Include $600 Stimulus Checks, Less Unemployment Coverage

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is confident that the Senate will soon pass the two-part COVID-19 relief package he helped develop. In a Thursday telephone press conference, Warner described key provisions of the plan and addressed controversy over a stimulus check added to the package while also limiting provisions to extend federal unemployment benefits past Christmas.

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Virginia Republicans and Democrats Call for Bipartisan COVID-19 Relief Bill

As Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) signals that a $908 billion relief package will be ready for the Senate to consider soon, Virginia Republicans are calling for a similar bill in the House of Representatives. But Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09) is warning leadership not to bundle it with a budget appropriations bill.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Bernie Sanders Push Bill Taxing Billionaires 60 Percent to Fund One Year of Healthcare for All

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a bill Friday to tax billionaires sixty percent of their pandemic-earned assets. The proposed bill, “Make Billionaires Pay Act,” would use the tax money to cover individual healthcare expenses for one year.

In a tweeted video, Sanders argued billionaires have profited off the coronavirus pandemic while the rest of the country has suffered.

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