Black Farmers May Be About To Get Much Need Relief

federal dollars earmarked for Black farmers
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TheGrio spoke with White House officials and members of Congress to get the break down of federal dollars earmarked for Black farmers, clean water in Black communities, crime prevention, better housing and more.

The White House and members U.S. Congress have been dropping hints that they are nearing a deal on the Build Back Better (BBB) infrastructure spending plan. But both the money and what is considered to be ‘infrastructure’ remain sticking points even as Biden officials say both will positively impact Black America.

Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Alexander Ocasio-Cortez of New York exclusively told theGrio on Capitol Hill, “It’s unfortunate how much, sometimes, provisions for our Black communities get trimmed back along with so many other provisions for people of color.”

“But I do think that there are a lot of exciting investments here,” she added. “We had those initial expansions for Black farmers in the original [American Rescue Plan]. But as we’ve seen, there’s been so much pushback on that and [we] continue to push for that. [It] is super important.”

Senior officials at the White House, including White House Domestic Policy Director Susan Rice, have highlighted that Black farmers will see some funding from BBB.

Rice, who previously served as an advisor to former president Barack Obama, contends that Black farmers are earmarked for $6 billion.

The farmers, almost 49,000, were a major support to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in many of the southern states that are typically red. The line item for Black farmers is an effort to address long-standing inequities in agriculture.

White House officials say the relief for farmers and ranchers in the Build Back Better framework includes a program to provide debt relief to certain farmers and ranchers with qualifying loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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