Goodlatte Cosponsors Agriculture Disaster Assistance

Oct 6, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Chairman Bob Goodlatte co-sponsored a bill, H.R. 5226, introduced today by Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) that would provide disaster assistance to producers affected by weather related disasters across the country. The bill's funding contains offsets that impose a cap on spending for the Conservation Security Program (CSP). The bill also stipulates that producers could not receive disaster assistance that exceeds 95 percent of the crop's worth absent the disaster.

Similar disaster assistance was included in the Senate version which appeared in its FY05 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill; however, without offsets for the cost of the bill passage through the House was not anticipated. Congressman Neugebauer's bill provides the offsets called for by House members as well as close similarity to the Senate package.

"We have been working for several weeks to find a way to help farmers and ranchers from West Texas to Minnesota to Colorado, as well as those devastated by hurricanes in the southeast. With the tight budgets we now face that has been a difficult task. But we believe the legislation we are introducing today provides the path to secure the assistance our producers need," said the Chairman.

The Chairman believes producers need disaster assistance quickly and it is imperative for Congress to help American producers.

"Through this vehicle, we believe we can provide a uniform and substantial program of assistance to producers across the country covering all types of weather-related crop losses. This bill represents the only opportunity we see to get this job done before we go home. I want to commend Randy for his tireless efforts to make this important legislation happen," the Chairman said.