Farm groups beg lawmakers for bipartisan agreement on disaster relief funds


WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Over 100 farm groups are begging the President and Congress to put aside political differences for the sake of America’s farmers.

The groups sent a letter asking Congress for $5.5 billion dollars to help farmers in the midwest and south recover from recent natural disasters. Congress will try again next week to pass a disaster relief bill, but some lawmakers fear it may be too little too late.

“There is just total devastation of crop losses,” said R.J. Karney, of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We are talking more than $8 billion dollars, and that number is still being calculated, specifically in the Midwest.”

Karney says the southeast is still recovering from last year’s hurricanes while severe storms and record spring floods slam the farm belt — causing huge losses for farmers.

 A disaster relief bill has been stalled in Congress since January.

Kansas Republican Congressman Roger Marshall says Democrats insist on including millions of dollars for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico — over the President’s objections. Marshall said: “Certainly I think most of us are anxious to try to help the farmers—to help out anybody who had disaster strike them, but unfortunately Nancy Pelosi has made this into a political game.”

The House should vote on the disaster aid package next week. 

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