Heitkamp: 'Farmers don’t want a check, they want a market'

Democratic Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction MORE (N.D.) criticized the Trump administration’s new farm aid plan, saying it doesn’t address the long-term ramifications of the president’s escalating trade war.

On Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would offer $12 billion in aid to farmers hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. goods.

“At the end of the day, farmers don’t want a check, they want a market,”  Heitkamp told Hill.TV correspondent Molly Hooper.

Heitkamp thinks lawmakers need to continue to provide support for agricultural communities across the country.

“My farmers are desperate, they need to make sure they have a lifeline,” Heitkamp said. “We’re working on a number of other provisions that might make it easier for them to access some resources.”

Shortly after her comments, Heitkamp announced a new bill aimed at helping farmers and ranchers recover their losses as a result of the administration’s trade policies.

Heitkamp’s bill would provided provide greater access to the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). The program was first created in 1962 to help workers harmed by changing trade policies.

Some farmers are not eligible for the direct financial assistance provided by the program. But Heitkamp’s bill would change all that – it would help available to all farmers and producers whose exports have been hurt by retaliatory tariffs caused by the administration’s trade policies.

In addition to this new bill, she introduced bipartisan legislation with Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy MORE (R-TN) and co-sponsored another bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-AZ) to nullify the steel and aluminum tariffs.

Heitkamp is currently facing reelection in North Dakota, and it’s already shaping up to be an uphill battle.

The incumbent is going up against Republican Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenators highlight threat from invasive species Overnight Defense: Top general wasn't consulted on Syria withdrawal | Senate passes bill breaking with Trump on Syria | What to watch for in State of the Union | US, South Korea reach deal on troop costs GOP senators think Trump would win vote on emergency declaration MORE in a state where Trump won by almost 36 points in the 2016 election.

— Tess Bonn