The disaster aid package includes a provision Senator Ernst championed to extend USDA relief to cover Iowa farmers who have lost stored grain in the flooding
May 23 2019
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after passage of a bipartisan disaster aid package in the U.S. Senate:
“This spring has brought devastation and difficult times for so many Iowans across our state. Our families, farmers, and small business owners have waited a long time for Congress to get its act together. But, at long last, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan disaster relief package that will deliver desperately-needed aid to folks across the country,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “I’m extremely pleased this bipartisan disaster aid package includes a provision to extend aid for Iowans who are facing losses from the destruction of their stored grain in the floods. As Iowans continue down the road to recovery, I stand ready to work across the aisle in providing help and assistance to those in need.”
Since April, Senator Ernst has been working to include a provision into a Senate disaster relief package that would extend federal aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to include crops that are already harvested and stored, such as grain. Currently, there are no federal disaster programs that cover the loss of grain that was being stored on farms. This measure, which was included in the final Senate relief package that passed today, would give the USDA the authority to cover the loss of on-farm stored grain.
In the wake of the flooding, Senator Ernst has worked tirelessly to provide aid to Iowans in need. She helped introduce legislation, the Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019, to allow individuals in disaster areas of Iowa to be eligible for a number of tax benefits. She also hosted and chaired a field hearing in Glenwood, Iowa to examine the Army Corps of Engineers’ response to the flooding. As a result, Senator Ernst sent a letter to the Corps describing the feedback and concerns she has heard from stakeholders about the Corps’ communications shortcomings during and after the floods. The letter specifically describes issues with communications between the Corps and local levee sponsors and those in harm’s way and urges the Corps to immediately address the problems.
For Iowans impacted by floods, there are many resources available. For a list highlighting resources for Iowa families, businesses, and farmers, as well as information about contacting Senator Ernst’s office for assistance, click here.