Ag News

Perdue, Isakson sponsor disaster relief package

On Feb. 26, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and David Perdue (R-Georgia) introduced a bipartisan disaster relief package with the backing of President Donald J. Trump. The senators indicated they’ve received support from President Donald Trump for disaster relief and encouraged Congress to pass legislation with funding for areas including Georgia and other states that are recovering from recent hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters.

Sens. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), Rick Scott, (R-Fla.), Tim Scott, (R-S.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Thom Tillis, (R-N.C.) signed on as cosponsors of the bill.

“In October, President Trump and Vice President Pence both saw the devastation of Hurricane Michael firsthand and promised farmers they would have their backs. In pushing for this disaster relief bill, the President is fulfilling that promise,” said Perdue, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Now, it is up to Congress to follow through and pass this critical, bipartisan bill. Our farmers and rural communities cannot wait any longer for disaster relief. For some Georgia farmers, the timing of assistance will determine whether they put a crop in the ground ever again.”

 This funding package provides approximately $13.6 billion in overall relief efforts to all those affected by disasters.

The bill includes agriculture disaster relief for farmers recovering in the wake of Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters across the country, development grants for small rural communities impacted by natural disasters in 2018, assistance for veterans’ health facilities and military bases devastated by Hurricane Michael, emergency funds for critical timber, watershed and wastewater infrastructure needs, restoration of highways, aviation facilities and other transit projects damaged by natural disasters and an additional $600 million in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico.

In a floor speech on Feb. 28, Isakson urged the Senate to pass the disaster relief package.

“We had terrible disasters in the South and Southeast over the last few years – hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, late freezes – and billions of dollars lost in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and other locations,” said Isakson. “And we failed to meet the disaster demands that we have on ourselves to help those farmers and ag producers and businesses and industries get back on their feet. We now have a dire crisis, an emergency in the Southeast.”