Florida citrus growers were optimistic after the House passed an $81 billion disaster package by a vote of 251-169.
However, Politico says House Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas says it’s unlikely that the upper chamber will take up the disaster bill before the end of the year. The bill faces strong opposition from Democrats, who say the bill doesn’t go far enough in helping the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
A group of Florida citrus growers came to Washington to stress the importance of disaster assistance to both lawmakers and USDA employees. The growers say they’re accepting of the fact that disaster assistance likely won’t come until early January.
The House-passed bill does contain a provision allowing cotton producers to enroll in the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs in the farm bill. It would also lift the $20 million cap on livestock insurance programs. It’s unclear how the bill will fare in the Senate, especially since Senate Ag Committee member Debbie Stabenow of Michigan says the dairy assistance doesn’t go far enough.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.