The U.S. will provide a $19 billion relief package to U.S. farmers and ranchers affected by coronavirus, President Donald Trump announced Tuesday.
Trump made the announcement alongside industry leaders in the food supply chain at the White House, saying $16 billion would go to farmers and ranchers as direct payments and $3 billion would go toward purchases for the Food Box Distribution Program. The announcement is virtually identical to a program Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in April.
“You can go back to Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said Tuesday. “There’s no president in history that the farmers like more.”
Perdue warned that the April spending measure would not be enough to cover the food industry through the coronavirus pandemic. Tuesday’s additional spending is the second infusion, and there may be another in July. (RELATED: DOJ Drops Case Against Michael Flynn)
The news comes as state governments are beginning to reopen their economies as the coronavirus cases wind down. The White House released reopening guidelines last month, and dozens of states have entered phase one, which allows restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues to reopen at a limited capacity.
The food industry is one of several to receive special infusions of cash to support them through the pandemic. Trump announced $1.4 billion in grants for public transportation in New Jersey and Chicago on Friday. (RELATED: Trump To Receive Official Space Force Flag And Declare New ‘Armed Forces Day’)
“I am proud to announce that @NJTransit will receive $1.4B in CARES Act funding to assist in their continued operations and to keep people moving in the NY/NJ area! The LARGEST single Federal transit grant to New Jersey Transit ever. Together, we will prevail!” Trump tweeted Friday.
“Chicago’s @CTA has big federal resources heading its way to keep the transit system operational and to keep people moving where they need to go. $817M will aid in the economic recovery — buy Made in the USA!” he tweeted soon after.
Trump and Senate Republicans are also negotiating with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over a phase 4 stimulus package.