Smith Supports Disaster Relief Bill
May 10, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke today in the House of Representatives before voting in support of H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019, to provide additional assistance to disaster areas, including the March 2019 “bomb cyclone” which struck Nebraska. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 257-150, and now moves to the Senate.
Text of Smith’s remarks, as prepared:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to reflect on the importance of the disaster supplemental bill we are considering today.
In Nebraska we continue our work to recover from the storm which hit our state.
The storm brought with it blizzard conditions and large amounts of rain, followed rapidly by destructive flooding.
The impact of this storm continues to be felt across our state, particularly by our agricultural producers. In the west, the extreme blizzard conditions compounded an already hard winter, leading to cattle losses. In the east, grain stores were washed away or damaged by the floods and extensive silting of fields has impeding planting as the season is now underway.
I particularly appreciate both this bill and the most recent Senate package including language to ensure our disaster programs can address losses of stored grain.
While crop insurance covers producers from planting, including coverage for prevented planting, up through harvest, it does not provide coverage for harvest grain which is stored and has not yet been sold.
Our producers need this relief.
I realize this bill is not perfect, and there are a number of issues I hope we can address moving forward.
I would prefer to be considering legislation which addresses the concerns of some Senators and the President and would be signed into law.
This bill does not, and I hope negotiations will get us there soon.
I have long advocated for disaster packages to be paid for – this package is not, and my amendment to cover the cost was unfortunately not made in order.
We have traditionally extended a number of tax relief provisions to families and businesses in disaster areas. I have introduced legislation to do this and hope we can act on this relief soon.
Mr. Speaker, Nebraskans need assistance.
Considering this bill moves us closer to providing them relief, and for that reason I support it.
I yield back the remainder of my time.
To watch a video of Rep. Smith’s remarks, click here.