Earlier this week there was concern in the marketplace that Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments would be delayed. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) says that concern bubbled up because some members of the Senate wanted to block funding of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) which houses the MFP money. Peterson told “AgriTalk” host Chip Flory that the issue has likely be resolved.
“As far as we know, it's going to get fixed in a way that will not delay the payments. But I haven't actually personally viewed the language myself,” he said. “But I think it's been fixed.”
According to Peterson, the irony of the situation is that the CCC has only had limitations on it in recent years.
“CCC never had limitations on it, all the history going back into the Truman or whatever it started,” he said. They were implemented when Blanche Lincoln was running for reelection and some republicans thought then Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was funding her campaign with CCC money.
“Since then, what's happened is the appropriators have this wave that limitation every year but I don't think they permanently fixed it,” he said. “That's kind of what the issue was this year. The department came in for a waiver like they’ve always done, and the appropriators apparently told them, ‘Well, wait a minute we're going to look at this now,’ which is been going on for a week and a half.”
Peterson said it was made clear last night that Senate Leadership caused the stir, although he’s not clear why.
“Anyway, I think it's been fixed,” he said.
But, he said there may be a danger in the new attention on the CCC. It may have put the funding on the radar screen of liberals in Congress and the Freedom Caucus, and Peterson said both factions may now push to cut or eliminate CCC funding.
Waiting On RFS Waiver Language
According to Peterson, the administration is floating language that would resolve the situation, but he doesn’t think the industry will accept what was being put forward.
“I don't think that's been resolved at this point,” he said. “The only way that this can be resolved if we have a reallocation of those gallons that were taken away from us with the waivers.”
He doesn’t think a deal like that has been put on the table, but said that’s the only way to get back to square one.
“We were promised $15 billion gallons of corn ethanol,” he said. “That's what the statute says, and that's what it's supposed to be.”