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COVID-19, Congressional Powers and a Farm Bill (Guest: Daren Bakst)

July 28, 2020

Under the cover of coronavirus relief, Congress is proposing to double the size and make permanent a fund in the department of agriculture, thus ceding its authority to control and direct spending.

In a new paper, Daren Bakst, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, explains how Congress is trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic response to permanently double the size of funding (from $30 billion to $68 billion annually) under the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. This will give the Agriculture Secretary complete discretion over how to spend the money. This plan removes accountability for spending, which the Constitution gives solely to the Congress of the United States.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Daren Bakst is the Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy at the Heritage Foundation and policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @darenbakst