Robert Aderholt sends letter urging supplemental disaster relief for farmers, rural communities

Hurricane Michael damage
An American flag flies amidst destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. [Photo Credit: AP Photo | Gerald Herbert]

Alabama 4th District U.S. Rep. and Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture Robert Aderholt, on Tuesday sent a letter to leadership of the full committee urging passage of a supplemental disaster appropriations bill to address the series of natural disasters in 2018 that have caused widespread destruction and significant losses for our nation’s farmers, as well the communities in which they live.

Aderholt was joined by his colleague Georgia 2nd District U.S. Rep. and Committee Ranking Member Sanford Bishop, Jr. and other leader members of the committee. They believe there is an urgent need for a supplemental disaster appropriations bill to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities recover and rebuild.

“Natural disasters, like hurricanes, know no political boundaries,” said Aderholt. “That is why it is important for people like my friend, and Ranking Member, Sanford Bishop and myself, to come together to support the farmers affected.  After all, farmers don’t care about political parties, but have to pay the bank loans back and keep their lights on.”

“On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the United States, left a path of devastation from Alabama and Florida to Virginia. While the damage is still being assessed, it is estimated that total agricultural losses could exceed $4 billion. Less than a month earlier, Hurricane Florence slammed into North Carolina and South Carolina causing $22 billion in damages. In addition, wildfires across the western states have consumed more than 8 million acres to date. While there is never a good time for a storm like Michael, it hit at the worst time possible for farmers. With depressed commodity prices and markets closed due to retaliatory trade measures, it made the hurricane’s impact even greater,” the Members wrote in their letter.

They continued, “It is our responsibility, and the responsibility of the other Members of Congress, to find solutions and provide relief to those in need. We look forward to working with you, and the full House Appropriations committee, as well as the entire Congress on a supplemental appropriations package and to reexamine federal policies where necessary.”

The full letter may be read below: