Feenstra Delivers for Farmers, Amendment Securing Derecho Relief Passes House Ag Committee
WASHINGTON -- Today, the House Agriculture Committee held a markup on the Democrats’ proposed $16.112 billion ag reconciliation bill.
In an effort to improve the bill, Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) introduced amendments that were considered during today’s hearing -- including one to authorize the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to include those in need of assistance from last summer’s massive derecho storm, which exacerbated the challenges Iowa farmers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a big win for Iowa farmers, the House Agriculture Committee adopted Rep. Feenstra’s amendment.
“I promised to deliver results and fight for Iowa farmers, main street businesses, and hardworking families, and that’s exactly what I’m doing,” said Rep. Feenstra. “My amendment will provide much-needed and timely relief for hardworking farmers affected by last summer’s derecho. I’m proud the House Agriculture Committee passed my amendment, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on this committee moving forward to deliver more results for our agriculture community.”
Rep. Feenstra’s amendment would add a provision to make assistance available to producers who suffered disaster losses in 2020 -- including losses due to high winds and the derecho that devastated a large swath of Iowa. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated damages from the derecho to be $7.5 billion, which is a larger cost than nine of last year’s 10 hurricanes and tropical storms that made landfall. The provision would provide payments to producers who suffered damages as a result of the derecho through the USDA’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP). Despite arguments made by the majority, this amendment would not impact the overall budgetary impacts of this legislation; it would simply redirect some of the $4 billion in funding allocated in the relevant section towards this needed purpose.