WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Austin Scott (R-GA-08), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, released the following statements upon their amendment to increase emergency assistance funding to agricultural producers who suffered losses from hurricanes, wildfires and other agricultural related losses in 2018 being included in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 268).

“Farmers and rural communities across our country have been reeling from the impacts of devastating losses from natural disasters. In my home state of Georgia alone, damages have been estimated at over $2.5 billion with many producers losing not only this year’s crop but impacting them for years to come,” said Rep. Scott. “For months now, Sanford Bishop and I have worked to deliver relief to farmers and rural communities in Georgia. I thank him for his support on this amendment, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and others to complete this process.”

“Hurricane Michael devastated Southwest Georgia and left a path of destruction into Virginia. Across the State of Georgia, many producers suffered near 100 percent crop losses. The pecan, peanut, cotton, vegetable, and poultry industries all experienced significant damages not just in 2018, but for the last three straight years,” said Rep. Bishop. “I want to thank Austin Scott and the twelve bipartisan cosponsors of this amendment for coming together and developing solutions for these agricultural producers who suffered such great losses.”

In response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and other natural disasters in 2017, Congress created the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This program, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides disaster payments to agricultural producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. The Scott-Bishop amendment ensures $3 billion will be appropriated into WHIP to provide relief for producers impacted by Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters in 2018.

Additional information on WHIP can be found on the USDA’s website by clicking here.

Cosponsors of the amendment include U.S. Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-AL-04), Neal Dunn (R-FL-02), Josh Harder (D-CA-10), Al Lawson (D-FL-05), Tom Rice (R-SC-07), Martha Roby (R-AL-02), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), David Scott (D-GA-13), Terri Sewell (D-AL-07), Darren Soto (D-FL09), Joe Wilson (R-SC-02), and Ted Yoho (R-FL-03).