B-332221 1 (2020-06-03)

handle is hein.gao/gaobaeblj0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 




GAO U.S. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
441 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC  20548


B-332221


June 3, 2020

The Honorable Pat Roberts
Chairman
The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
Ranking Member
Committee  on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
United States Senate

The Honorable Collin C. Peterson
Chairman
The Honorable K. Michael Conaway
Ranking Member
Committee  on Agriculture
House  of Representatives

Subject: Department of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary: Corona virus Food Assistance
        Program

Pursuant to section 801 (a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule
promulgated by the Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Secretary entitled
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (RIN: 0503-AA65). We received the rule on May 19,
2020. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on May 21, 2020. 85 Fed. Reg.
30825.

According to USDA, the final rule implements the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
(CFAP).  USDA  stated CFAP provides assistance to agricultural producers impacted by the
effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to USDA, the final rule establishes provisions for
direct payments to producers of eligible commodities and specifies the eligibility requirements,
payment  calculations, and application procedures for CFAP.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) requires a 60-day delay in the effective date of a major
rule from the date of publication in the Federal Register or receipt of the rule by Congress,
whichever is later. 5 U.S.C.  801(a)(3)(A). The 60-day delay in effective date can be waived,
however, if the agency finds good cause that delay is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest, and the agency incorporates a statement of the findings and its reasons in
the rule issued. 5 U.S.C.  808(2). USDA determined it had good cause because the
beneficiaries of this rule have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which has
resulted in income losses due to significant declines in demand and market disruptions.

Enclosed is our assessment of USDA's compliance with the procedural steps required by
section 801 (a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. If you have any questions
about this report or wish to contact GAO officials responsible for the evaluation work relating to

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