Hoeven Joins Western State Lawmakers Urging USDA to Support Additional Drought Relief for Producers

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee and a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today joined a bipartisan, bicameral effort to urge U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide additional relief to farmers and ranchers impacted by historic drought. 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.

“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 was led by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and signed by members of the House, including Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), and Senate, including Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calf.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).