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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) proposed an amendment to the $1.9 trillion spending plan that would make derecho-ravaged farms eligible for federal assistance already available for victims of costal hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. The plan, which was originally offered in the House of Representatives by Rep. Randy Feenstra (Iowa-04), would not have increased federal spending levels.  It was rejected in the Senate by a vote of 45-54.

 

“Farmers across Iowa were hit with a double dose of economic pain in the pandemic when a rare and devastating derecho ripped across the state destroying millions of acres of crops, along with grain bins, barns and other farming facilities. Rep. Feenstra offered a bipartisan amendment to the House’s version of the spending bill to make Iowa’s farmers eligible for existing aide. Even though his bipartisan amendment was adopted by the House Agriculture Committee, House Democratic leaders stripped it out at the last minute.

 

“I was hoping for a better outcome on the Senate side, but Democrats couldn’t find any room in their massive $1.9 trillion package for Iowa farmers. The one-two punch from COVID-19 and the derecho means these farmers were particularly devastated. I will keep working with Congressman Feenstra to ensure these producers get the assistance they need. Apparently, some believe Iowa’s natural disasters aren’t good enough to get the same assistance previously made available for California wildfires or costal hurricanes,” Grassley said.