Disaster Assistance Bill (Finally) Passes Congress

Farm cleanup after Hurricane Michael, Georgia, 2018. Photo: UGA

Georgia peanut farmers applaud the U.S. House of Representatives passage of the long-awaited disaster aid bill by 354-58 yesterday. The passage comes eight months after Hurricane Michael devastated portions of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The passage has come at a critical time as farmers are in the midst of planting their 2019 crops.

Previously, the disaster aid bill passed the Senate by a vote of 85-8 on May 23. This package contains $19.1 billion of disaster relief, including $605 million for Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program, $300 million for additional Community Development Block Grants for Puerto Rico, $3.2 billion to rebuild military bases like Tyndall Air Force Base and Camp Lejeune, $3.3 billion for flood damage repair, and $3 billion for agricultural losses. Additionally, California will be eligible to receive more than $8 billion in assistance for wildfire recovery.

“We are thankful for the work of Georgia’s Congressional delegation in staying strong and never giving up on passage of the disaster aid bill,” says Armond Morris, chairman of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “The work of Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, as well as Congressmen Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott, have been tremendous in helping farmers obtain the disaster relief that is greatly needed.”

The bill now heads to President Trump for final approval. Once signed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will work to implement. A summary of the disaster relief package is available on the Georgia Peanut Commission website.


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