Texas Ag Commissioner Joins Discrimination Lawsuit over COVID Relief

by Colter Brown

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller last week joined a lawsuit against the federal government. Miller claims the COVID relief plan passed in March discriminates against white farmers and ranchers. Miller, a rancher himself, joined the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as a public official.

A provision in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 offers relief to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, which the plan defines as people of color. The provision waives up to 120% of farm loan debt for USDA direct or guaranteed loans for minority of socially disadvantaged farmers. Socially disadvantaged is defined as African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, or Pacific Islanders.

Miller’s complaint against the Department of Agriculture, according to the Texas Tribune, says the definition in the program fails to include “white ethnic groups that have unquestionably suffered” because of their ethnicity, such as those of Irish, Italian, German, Jewish and eastern European heritage.

The America First Legal Foundation, a conservative group that claims, “the radical left is using its power inside and outside of the government to destroy our country,” filed the lawsuit. American First Legal is led by Stephen Miller, an aide to President Donald Trump. Miller is known for his opposition to immigration.

The organization says the Constitution forbids government action that discriminates based upon race, alleging the Biden administration is “actively engaging in outright racial discrimination.”

 

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