From Plains Cotton Growers
Congressmen Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at helping the Texas agriculture community recover from the recent winter storm. H.R. 1692, the RESTORE (Rehabilitating Economic Success Through Overcoming Rural Emergencies) Act, would help our farmers recover from natural disasters by reauthorizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to cover natural disasters from 2020 and 2021. This program previously provided payments to producers to offset losses from natural disasters that occurred in 2018 and 2019.
Jackson said: “I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort for Texas’ agriculture community alongside my colleague, Congressman Cuellar. The historic winter conditions experienced in Texas resulted in over $600 million of agricultural losses, leaving many crops and dairy products destroyed. In Texas, agriculture production is critical for our economy and food supply. The RESTORE Act will go a long way to support our farmers during this tumultuous time as they work on restoring their operations. This bill will also re-stabilize our food supply, which recent events have proven is not invincible. Texans are resilient, so I know we will get through this together!”
Cuellar said: “Texas farmers and ranchers have suffered widespread and catastrophic losses from recent natural disasters. This legislation will provide critical assistance to crop and livestock producers because of droughts, extreme cold, and power outages. As a senior member of the Agricultural Subcommittee on Appropriations, I am committed to delivering support to our agricultural industry who work every day to put food on our tables during this pandemic, and beyond.”
Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said: “Texas Farm Bureau is pleased Congressmen Ronny Jackson and Henry Cuellar have introduced the RESTORE Act to provide needed and expanded assistance for farmers and ranchers impacted by extreme weather events. Whether it was the most recent winter storm, hurricanes in 2020, or ongoing drought conditions in other regions of the state, Texas agricultural producers are in desperate need of relief. We thank Congressmen Jackson and Cuellar for working to address these challenges head-on. Texas Farm Bureau is proud to support this bipartisan legislation and looks forward to working with leaders in Congress to provide relief for hardworking farm and ranch families across the country.”
Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. CEO Steve Verett said: “On behalf of Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., we strongly support the bipartisan legislation lead by Congressman Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) known as the Rehabilitating Economic Success Through Overcoming Rural Emergencies Act (RESTORE Act). Cotton farmers across the High Plains and all of Texas have been vastly impacted by concurrent events brought on by mother nature including the recent winter storm that swept the Lone Star State. We greatly appreciate the expansion of the USDA Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP)+ to include losses incurred due to high winds, polar vortexes, hailstorms, freeze and all drought for the 2020-2021 crop year. These losses which are currently not covered by USDA WHIP+, significantly impact farmers throughout the region and state that can leave a lasting financial burden.”
Jackson is quickly establishing himself as a leader in advancing Texas’ agriculture priorities in Congress through his work as Co-Chair of the Texas Agriculture Task Force.
Co-sponsors of the RESTORE Act include Representatives Brady, Arrington, Burgess, Cloud, Babin, Sessions, Weber, Gohmert, Van Duyne, Pfluger, Gonzales, and Fallon of Texas.