Obama signs bill with Hurricane Sandy aid for USDA

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2013 - President Obama signed into law legislation (H.R. 152) late Jan. 29 that provides the Agriculture Department with $230.4 million as part of a larger $50.5 billion disaster assistance package to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.

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Obama's signing came one day after the Senate voted 62-36 to approve the bill. The House approved the bill on a 241-180 vote Jan. 15.

Under the law, USDA's Office of the Secretary will receive $218 million for “emergency conservation and restoration efforts, as well as flood prevention and watershed repairs.” Of that funding, $180 million is dedicated to the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, $23 million is for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program, and $15 million will be available under the Agriculture Credit Act of 1978.

Also, the law provides $6 million to the USDA's emergency food assistance program.

Lastly, the law provides $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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