US Rep Bass Statement on Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act

WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) issued the following statement this afternoon after the House of Representatives passed legislation (H.R. 6233) to provide supplemental funding for disaster assistance to help farmers, ranchers, and plant producers in states affected by the severe droughts, particularly in the Midwest.

Bass said:

“While well-intentioned to help those hardest hit by the severe droughts plaguing this country, this legislation was not fairly balanced.  Instead of offsetting the cost of this disaster assistance with cuts to massive subsidy programs and direct farm payments that are ripe for reform, the bill instead disproportionately cuts important conservation programs that have helped to preserve our nation’s natural resources.  Budgets in general need to be tough to help rein in federal spending, but they also need to be fair.  This bill sadly doesn’t do that.”

“Congressman Bass did the right thing today. We commend him for taking a tough but necessary stand by voting against a bill that sacrifices long-term planning to meet short-term needs, particularly since a more reasonable solution is already on the table. The House should pass the five-year Farm Bill—which includes drought relief—already approved by the Senate and by the House Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support,” said Jim O’Brien, Director of External Affairs for the New Hampshire Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  “Drought assistance is certainly needed, but paying for it through unbalanced and drastic cuts to conservation will do more harm than good.”