McMorris Rodgers Calls for Agricultural Relief Following Wildfires, Droughts

Washington, D.C. (July 27, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today joined a bipartisan effort to secure more relief for Pacific Northwest farmers, ranchers,and other agricultural producers. Specifically, the group of lawmakers urged Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to open relief programs up to more producers that have lost crops and livestock as a result of recent droughts, extreme heat, and wildfires.

In response to the recent heat-related droughts and wildfires across Eastern Washington, Secretary Vilsack issued several disaster designations, unlocking vital federal resources. However, many of the producers who suffered the greatest heat-related losses were either located in counties not covered by the drought designations, experienced losses not covered by drought assistance programs, or both.

“Although the extent of damages relating to the extreme heat has yet to be fully determined, agricultural producers expect these impacts to be severe,” the lawmakers wrote. “We respectfully request USDA explore all potential flexibilities for additional relief within existing programs and identify other options to deliver federal relief to producers in our states so they have the resources to overcome the extreme drought and heat crisis.”

The letter also encourages USDA to work with Congress to provide technical assistance as lawmakers craft additional authorities and appropriations to address the 2020 and 2021 seasons that include wildfire, drought, and excessive heat-related losses.

CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 

NOTE: Other members of the Washington Congressional delegation joined Rodgers in signing the letter, including Representatives Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Kim Schrier (WA-08), Adam Smith (WA-09), and Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), as well as Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

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