Rep. David Scott considering permanent disaster assistance program
U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-Georgia 13th District) said during a May 18 hearing that the committee is working on a bill to establish a permanent disaster relief program for farms.
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) asked for the committee’s support for the RESTORE act, which would provide disaster relief for Texas farmers who suffered losses from the polar vortex in February and make aid from the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) available for natural disasters in 2020 and 2021.
In response to Jackson’s testimony, Scott said the committee is working toward a similar goal.
“Disaster aid is so critical,” Scott said. “I’m trying to put together an effort to create a separate, immediate disaster aid fund, so it doesn’t have to go through the regular appropriations process. It just takes too long, and many of our farms are done away with because we move too slow.”
In Georgia, delays in delivering federal aid to help in the recovery from Hurricane Michael in 2018 exposed farmers to significant financial hardships.
“We are working on a bill to set up a permanent disaster aid that is already there, that we can get help down to our farms in their time of need,” Scott said.
The Member Day Hearing allowed members of Congress who are not on the Agriculture Committee to testify. Ten legislators gave remarks via video conference. Visit https://agriculture.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=2189 to watch or listen to recordings of the hearing.