House Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson is trying to get out in front of another possible government shutdown. The first government shutdown temporarily shuttered Farm Service Agency offices across the country.
Politico says Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat, is exploring possible ways to keep the FSA running in case government leaders can’t come to a budget agreement. Peterson says he didn’t know that agency staff in charge of getting the mandatory farm bill programs up and running didn’t get to continue working on that during the funding lapse.
Peterson is also trying to figure out if it’s possible to get arrangements in place for certain FSA workers to remain on the job during a potential shutdown. Peterson says farmers were asking him, “What’s going on? NRCS offices are open but FSA isn’t?” He was referring to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which was able to keep full staffing during the partial government shutdown, thanks to leftover money from fiscal 2018. “That’s hard to explain,” says Peterson.