U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' CARE, KATRINA RECOVERY, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT AMENDMENT -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2007)
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Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise today in support of the bill to amend S. 1716, which previously passed the other body and is now before the House.
In May, Congress passed and the President signed U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007. This law included disaster assistance for crop and livestock producers for losses sustained between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007.
Producers were able to receive payments for losses sustained in only one of these years and were required to be in a county that was declared a disaster county in that same calendar year. This law also contained provisions found in section 9012 requiring that forage producers must have participated in a crop insurance pilot program or the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance program during the crop year for which compensation is received.
As a result of section 9012, very few livestock producers are eligible for the disaster relief passed by Congress because crop insurance is more widely used in crop production than in livestock production. The amendment before the House will strike section 9012 to broaden the eligibility requirements to allow more livestock producers that suffered loss to participate than were allowed under the previously passed disaster package. The amendment before the House will not change direct spending because this amendment reconfirms the assumptions made when the Congressional Budget Office scored the original bill.
I believe section 9012 establishes an appropriate incentive for producers to manage their risk using the available tools. However, it is not reasonable to put this policy in place without warning. To tell producers in 2007 that they should have bought crop insurance in 2005 to get assistance for losses incurred in 2005 is not fair. Livestock producers should know, however, that in the future, crop insurance or participation in similar risk-management programs will likely be required to qualify for future disaster assistance.
I commend the gentlewoman from South Dakota and others who have worked for this legislation. I support the bill to amend S. 1716 and urge its adoption.
Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
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