House approves $222.4 million for USDA Hurricane Sandy aid

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2013 - The House approved legislation (H.R. 152) late today, on a 241-180 vote, that would provide the Agriculture Department with $222.4 million as part of a larger disaster assistance package to help states dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.

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The USDA supplemental funding came through an amendment, offered by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., which the House approved on a 228-191 vote before the underlying bill's final passage. Voting “yea” on the amendment were 190 Democrats and 38 Republicans. Voting “nay” were 189 Republicans and two Democrats.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration during the week of Jan. 21.

According to a summary of the amendment from the House Rules Committee, USDA's Office of the Secretary would receive $218 million for “emergency conservation and restoration efforts, as well as flood prevention and watershed repairs.”

Of that funding, $180 million would be dedicated to the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, $23 million would be for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program, and $15 million would be available under the Agriculture Credit Act of 1978.

In addition, the bill would provide $4.4 million to the USDA for “capital improvement and maintenance for necessary expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Sandy.”

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