"Socially disadvantaged" farmers are described as those who are part of a group that has been discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity.
"By denying or delaying Black farmers the same loans, subsidies and other payments made to white farmers, USDA engaged in systematic racism that led to a dramatic decline in the number of Black farmers. This is not in dispute," John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, told Fox News in a statement.
"Sadly, this long legacy of discrimination is baked into USDA programs, including how payments to Black farmers like me continue to be calculated," Boyd continued.
The plan would fund the construction of agricultural legal centers and the administration of grants and loans to help minority farmers.
On Friday, the House Budget Committee issued the text of Biden's American Rescue Plan bill, which will be reflected by the board on Monday.
Democrats are plotting to use the method of budget reconciliation, which allows them to evade courting Republican consent. However, it also means they must follow the Byrd rule, which says anything passed during budget reconciliation must have to do with the federal budget in some way.
The American Rescue Plan would also fund direct stimulus payments "equal to 120 percent of the outstanding indebtedness of each socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher as of January 1, 2021, to pay off the loan directly or to the socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher." The "farm loan assistance is to be provided, using however much otherwise unappropriated FY 2021 funds are 'necessary,'" according to the American Action Forum.
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Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., objected to the direct payments when the House Agriculture Committee approved funding for debt relief for socially disadvantaged farmers earlier in February, Successful Farming reported.
"I think it's wrong. I don't understand the justification of this," Scott said, according to Successful Farming.
Black farmers accounted for roughly one-sixth of farmers in 1920, but less than 2% of farms were run by Black producers by 2017, according to USDA data.
The USDA has suffered charges of discrimination for years. The class-action Pigford claim that the government settled in 1999 for $1.25 billion was supposed to help farmers who maintained they were unjustly denied loans and other government assistance.
"The debt relief proposed by Sen. [Raphael] Warnock and included in the House and Senate budget reconciliation bills will build on the progress made in the Pigford," Boyd told Fox News.