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Letter to Chairmen Rogers and Kingston and Ranking Members Dicks and Farr

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Paul Tonko teamed up with Congressman Bill Owens (D-NY 23) and Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA 11) to author a letter calling on the House Committee on Appropriation to fund USDA emergency programs for farmers that will help them recover from the devastation caused by a string of natural disasters, including flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The letter requests that the next government funding vehicle include $126.7 million for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and $200.2 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), which is the same amount recently approved by the U.S. Senate as an amendment to the minibus appropriations bill which includes Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD funding.

In their letter, the legislators wrote, "Our nation's farmers have experienced a rise in natural disasters this year, including tornadoes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms earthquakes, and most recently, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. While farmers are normally able to recover from crop losses, the intensity and volume of this year's natural disasters has threatened their very livelihoods. By funding ECP as well as EWP, you will enable emergency response resources to help farmers remove debris from their land, repair fences, clear stream channels and road culverts of impassable objects and correct drainage facilities that will otherwise flood again with a strong storm."

This letter is in addition to Congressman Tonko's standalone bill, H.R. 3005, otherwise known as the "Helping Devastated Farmers Act of 2011."

The full text of the letter is below:

November 3, 2011

The Honorable Hal Rogers
Chairman
House Appropriations Committee
H-307, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Jack Kingston
Chairman
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Related Agencies
2362-A Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Norm Dicks
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
1016 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Sam Farr
Ranking Member
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Related Agencies
1016 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairmen Rogers and Kingston and Ranking Members Dicks and Farr:

As you know, the current Continuing Resolution is set to expire on November 18, 2011. In the meantime, the House and Senate are working to pass individual or combined appropriations measures. In the next funding vehicle that the House considers, we respectfully request that you fund the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP). Specifically, we request you maintain $126.7 million for ECP and $200.2 million for EWP, the same amount recently passed by the United States Senate as an amendment to the minibus appropriations package, which combines Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation-HUD.

Our nation's farmers have experienced a rise in natural disasters this year, including tornadoes, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tropical storms earthquakes, and most recently, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. While farmers are normally able to recover from crop losses, the intensity and volume of this year's natural disasters has threatened their very livelihoods.

By funding ECP as well as EWP, you will enable emergency response resources to help farmers remove debris from their land, repair fences, clear stream channels and road culverts of impassable objects and correct drainage facilities that will otherwise flood again with a strong storm.

Many farmers lack crop insurance or Noninsured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage. Therefore, ECP and EWP are often their only source of assistance from the federal government following a flood.

Given the importance of agriculture to our local, state and national economies, we respectfully request that you maintain funding for ECP and EWP at the Senate level.

Sincerely,

Paul D. Tonko, Member of Congress

Bill Owens, Member of Congress

Lou Barletta, Member of Congress


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