Farm groups and ag lenders are pressing Congress to put aside politics and pass urgently needed disaster relief. Politics has already sidelined $13 billion, including $5 billion for ag disaster aid, in a failed Senate procedural vote this month. Now, 135 farm groups and lenders are calling on the president and lawmakers to stop the politics and help their farmers and others deal with “unprecedented destruction” from floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and fires. Here is American Farm Bureau Federation’s RJ Karney.
“Farm Bureau urges Congress to put politics aside, and to move forward with the disaster relief bill that will greatly benefit farmers and ranchers, rural communities, that have been negatively impacted by these natural disasters.”
And here’s AFBF Executive Director Dale Moore.
“That’s the message we’re working on…that’s the message we’re going to be sharing and, as we get more information in, we’re certainly going to be ramping up that effort, to push Congress…a real disaster package through the traces and onto the president’s desk.”
But, AFBF’s Karney says Puerto Rico aid remains the hurdle in the Senate, after the House passed its own bill.
“Puerto Rico is the political hang-up…that’s exactly what has caused the political gamesmanship to occur, between both Democrats and Republicans and the president.”
Puerto Rico’s received more than $11 billion in hurricane aid since 2017, and President Trump’s supports an added $600 million in food assistance. Senate Democrats say more’s needed and that was before the political uproar over the Russia report.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters