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Senate Democrats call for support for pork producers in coronavirus aid package

Senate Democrats call for support for pork producers in coronavirus aid package
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Democratic Sens. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithWarren stalls confirmation of Biden pick in push for student loan reforms Usher attends Juneteenth bill signing at White House Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (Minn.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Tech antitrust bills create strange bedfellows in House markup | Rick Scott blocks Senate vote on top cyber nominee until Harris visits border | John McAfee dies Klobuchar questions Amazon, Alphabet over smart-home devices Schumer vows next steps after 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE (Minn.) and Dick DurbinDick Durbin'Killibuster': Democratic angst grows as filibuster threatens agenda Biden administration to back bill ending crack, powder cocaine sentence disparity: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill MORE (Ill.) asked congressional leadership on Tuesday to provide support for pork producers who have been forced to depopulate pig herds during the coronavirus pandemic in the next relief package. 

In their letter, the senators note that the demand for pork has plummeted with restaurants, schools, offices, and other establishments closed. They requested reimbursements of 85 percent of the value of pork producers’ losses.

“Although many processing facilities have since reopened and are nearing normal capacity, pork producers who have been forced to euthanize their animals are still facing a significant financial burden,” the Democrats wrote.

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They said that producers also need funds for equipment so plants much operate with robust safety measures to protect employees. 

A bipartisan group of senators made a similar request in May, calling for Congress to provide additional funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help pork producers forced to depopulate livestock.

Pork processing plants quickly became hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks, the most prominent example being a Smithfield plant in South Dakota that closed in April. That plant accounts for up to 5 percent of the total U.S. pork production and has since reopened. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE signed an executive order on April 28 to compel meat processing plants to stay open.

Senate Republicans have been meeting this week about what to include in their next coronavirus relief proposal, and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsGOP governors embrace culture wars with White House in mind Tech industry pushes for delay in antitrust legislation Head of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report MORE met with the caucus Tuesday.