WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) released the following statement after the House Agriculture Committee, of which he is a member, unanimously voted to advance the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act during yesterday's committee markup:
“Extension of the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus is critical for our farm families who suffered losses due to a disaster event in 2020 and 2021. Specifically, Hurricane Isaias inflicted severe damage in Southeastern North Carolina in 2020, resulting in $29 million in agricultural losses not covered by insurance for which producers have had no assistance with recovery. I’m pleased the Committee came together in a bipartisan fashion to provide an extension of disaster assistance to enable a stronger recovery for our producers hit hard by Hurricane Isaias.”
The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) and a preceding program provided necessary supplemental assistance to producers for 2017 – 2019 production losses, but that assistance has not been available for 2020 and 2021 losses.
The bill that passed in the House Agriculture Committee yesterday, H.R. 267, 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act, included an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (ANS) that will extend WHIP+ for both 2020 and 2021. The bill also includes key reforms to improve the overly burdensome application process that delayed the program in 2018 and 2019.