Why I voted Yes on H.R. 6233
I voted Yes on H.R. 6233, the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act.
H.R. 6233 would provide agriculture disaster aid to areas suffering from the drought by reauthorizing expired disaster programs. Specifically, the bill reauthorizes programs for livestock ranchers, as well as fish, tree, honey bee and nursery plant producers. This assistance would be available for losses incurred between October 2011 and the remainder of 2012 as a result of disaster, adverse weather or other environmental conditions.
The cost of providing this disaster assistance would be offset with reductions in spending for certain Department of Agriculture programs, resulting in a net spending reduction of $256 million, which will help reduce the deficit.
I supported providing this agricultural disaster relief because nearly 65 percent of the United States is facing severe drought, which is threatening livelihoods in farm country throughout the Midwest, South and West. Just as Congress provided disaster assistance to Upstate and the Southern Tier after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, it is right that American farmers be provided with some relief during the ongoing drought.
The bill was approved by a vote of 223 – 197.