Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to continue funding for the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) to assist with disaster recovery. While analysts anticipate the agricultural disaster package will ultimately be approved, there are still immediate challenges to overcome.
“Unfortunately, that bill is not likely to advance in the Senate because it’s going to be caught up in the broader issue and debate about funding for those parts of the federal government that are currently shut down,” said Vice President of Washington Operations for the National Cotton Council, Reece Langley.
A majority of the bill focuses on the agricultural losses that occurred in 2018 from disasters such as the devastating California wildfires. “This would continue that program for ’18, with additional funding as well as a few modifications to the program to try to make it more responsive to the needs of producers that suffered losses from those natural disasters,” Langley noted. “There’s also an amendment going to be considered to try to increase the funding for WHIP as well.”