Washington (Sept. 11, 2002) - the U.S. Senate passed an emergency disaster assistance amendment today, following months of prodding from Texas Farmers Union (TFU) and other farm groups. A procedural vote, necessary to proceed with the amendment, passed the Senate 79 to 16. The amendment was then passed by a voice vote.
South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle's amendment to the Senate Interior Appropriations bill would provide emergency relief for agricultural productin losses due to extreme weather during the last two crop years. The amendment was similar to bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Time Johnson, D-S.D., and Daschle, D-S.D.
"We applaud the senate for passing this essential assistance," said TFU President Wes Sims. "Farmers Union has worked hard for this first step toward certainty for farmers and ranchers devastated by drought, floods, insects, and disease. We encourage the House to follow quickly with similar legislation and urge the administration to suppport this bipartisan effort to assist rural America."
Almost 200 Farmers Union members are in Washington this week to drum up support for emergency disaster asistance from Congress and the administration.
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