Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. The bill, comprised of $1.9 trillion in the name of “COVID relief,” received no support from Republicans in the House or Senate, and it’s not hard to see why.
The legislation includes carveouts for dozens of leftist priorities, including a bridge in Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s New York and a tunnel in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Silicon Valley. These items clearly have nothing to do with pandemic relief for the millions of Americans out of work or the businesses shuttered by blue state governors’ harsh public health regulations. To the hardworking Americans everywhere, this bill should reek of the far-left’s desire to shove their ill-conceived policy priorities wherever they can stash them.
What most don’t know about this bill, however, is the small provision known as “Section 1005” that authorizes the secretary of agriculture to make payments of 100 to 120 percent of the “outstanding indebtedness of socially disadvantaged farmers.” Under this provision, those included in the socially disadvantaged category are American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics.
Putting aside all of the Washington jargon that makes little sense outside of a committee hearing room, this provision—specifically written into the American Rescue Plan by Democrats—pushes a blurred vision of so-called “social equity” by providing relief for farmers based on the color of their skin. Rather than offering much needed relief to all farmers, Sec. 1005 prioritizes race, just as it would ethnicity, sex, or any other factor.
It bears repeating: Sec. 1005 focuses debt relief on farmers based on their race, not based on how harshly the pandemic has affected them—the very reason for relief in the first place. Ironically, this racial discrimination is the very focus of what officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have worked so hard to combat.