Congressmen Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Peter Welch (D-VT)have joined together to urge House Leadership to include funding for critical agricultural disaster relief programs in the next government spending measure, which is scheduled to be considered by November 18, 2011. Farmers in Upstate New York and Vermont suffered devastating losses during Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. However, the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), which are two programs for disaster recovery that could be utilized, are currently lacking the funds required to assist all those who need aid. Funding for these programs are under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, which is led by Chairman Jack Kingston (R-GA).
"Those in need of disaster relief funding have no better advocates that Chris Gibson and Peter Welch," said Chairman Kingston. "They have worked tirelessly to get assistance for farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene. As we move forward with the Agriculture Appropriations bill, I hope to honor their request to the best of my ability while ensuring our bill reflects our current fiscal reality."
"Following the tremendous damage done to farms by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, I have made it a priority to secure agriculture disaster relief funding in the next federal spending measure. I will continue to be a tireless advocate in Washington for our family farms in Upstate New York as this assistance is critical to help them recover from the storms," said Congressman Gibson. "I particularly appreciate the willingness of Chairman Kingston and House Republican Leaders to carefully consider including this funding in the Agriculture Appropriations package."
"Hurricane Irene was an act of God that spared no one in its path of its destruction, Republican or Democrat," Congressman Welch said. "This assistance will provide a critical lifeline to Vermonters who were -- through no fault of their own -- caught on the bad end of a bad storm. I'm thankful to Chairman Kingston and Congressman Gibson for their hard work and leadership on this issue."
The federal government is currently operating on a Fiscal Year 2012 Continuing Resolution, which is set to expire on November 18, 2011. The House Appropriations Committee is in the midst of putting together the next government spending measure.