A farmer in Hastings, Minnesota. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

The personal income of farmers in the U.S. declined by an annualized $11.8 billion between January and March, the biggest 1st quarter drop in 3 years, Bloomberg reports, citing Commerce Department data released Monday.

The big picture: The drop is being driven primarily by the fallout from President Trump’s trade disputes, a nosedive in commodity prices and record flooding in the Midwest. As a result, farmer bankruptcies in the Midwest have shot up to levels the U.S. hasn't seen for approximately a decade.

  • Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration's $12 billion subsidy plan to aid farmers who have suffered major losses from the trade war had helped bolster farm income during the previous quarter, but that the one-time subsidies didn't do much in Q1.
  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday that he was "cautiously optimistic" about a U.S.-China trade deal and that the administration will know more in about 2 weeks.

Go deeper: America's farmers are living through the worst economic crisis in 30 years

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Ben Sasse emerges as GOP Trump critic ahead of November

Sen. Ben Sasse walks to the Senate from the subway to vote in June. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has dialed up his spicy slams of President Trump, including this swipe at yesterday's signing ceremony: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."

Why it matters: Trump increasingly looks — to business and to fellow Republicans — like a loser in November. So they're more likely to create distance to save their own skins. Sasse also won his May primary, further freeing him.

Pelosi: "States don't have the money" for Trump's unemployment order

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that states don't have the funds to comply with the executive order President Trump signed on Friday, which requires them to cover 25% of an additional $400 in weekly unemployment benefits.

Why it matters: Many state and local governments have had their budgets devastated by the economic impacts of the coronavirus, which have caused expenses to soar and revenues to plunge.

Kudlow says he regrets claiming Trump couldn't use executive order for unemployment

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that he regrets suggesting this week that unemployment benefits can only be extended by Congress.

Why it matters: President Trump's decision to bypass Congress to sign four executive actions, including one that provides $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits, has prompted outcry from Democrats and even some Republicans who believe he is overstepping his constitutional authority.