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Conaway, Thompson and Rouzer: Congress Must Work Closely With USDA to Aid Producers through Disasters

Washington, D.C. - Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittees on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management as well as Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a joint hearing to review the implementation of federal farm and disaster programs. After the hearing, Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) and Subcommittee Ranking Members Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-15) and David Rouzer (NC-7) and made the following remarks:

“It is the height of irony that today we sat in a hearing with USDA about how we can better provide assistance to producers, while the past several days House Democratic leadership threatened to hold these programs hostage by blocking funding for critical farm bill and trade assistance programs. This was nothing more than a political game for the Democrats and an attempt to try to defy our president. While I’m pleased Democrats came to their senses, it’s shameful that they attempted to score political points on the back of rural America,” said Ranking Member Conaway.

“No corner of farm country has been shielded from the extreme weather, natural disasters and low commodity prices experienced over the past six years. Assistance is needed in the heartland and fortunately, as we heard today, USDA is working quickly to provide aid through critical farm bill programs. I’m pleased we made vital improvements to the farm safety net in the 2018 Farm Bill and commend USDA’s timely rollout of these updated programs,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Thompson.

“Times have been tough in North Carolina farm country. Multiple hurricanes and low commodity prices have required federal support to see producers through to another year. Successive years of devastating storms underscore the need for crop insurance policies to be improved. It is a model that we should focus on enhancing rather than our continuing to depend on ad hoc assistance. I appreciate USDA’s efforts to learn from previous disasters and improve and modify programs to work more efficiently and effectively for our producers,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Rouzer.