January 16, 2019
By Marlee Moore
Hurricane Michael devastated a potential bumper cotton crop in southeast Alabama.
Alabama congressmen were instrumental in adding $1.9 billion in disaster relief for farmers suffering agricultural losses to the supplemental appropriations bill approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives by a 237-187 vote.
H.R. 268 originally authorized $1.1 billion for relief. During debate, an amendment co-sponsored by Republican Reps. Robert Aderholt and Martha Roby and Democrat Terri Sewell was adopted, increasing total funding to $3 billion.
The Alabama Farmers Federation applauded the delegation’s work on behalf of farmers.
“We appreciate Reps. Aderholt, Roby and Sewell working diligently to secure additional funding to better align with the needs of farmers,” said Mitt Walker, the Federation’s National Legislative Programs director. “Farmers across the country experienced devastated crop yields and quality in 2018, and some of the hardest hit farms were in Alabama. Disaster programs won’t reverse the damage, but timely assistance may be the difference in some farmers planting a crop in 2019.”
Just a couple weeks into the 116th Congress, which has been consumed by a partial government shutdown, the Senate has not yet acted on a disaster bill. The Senate could take up the House-passed bill or draft its own.