Congressman Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and Representatives Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., announced the introduction of the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act.  This bipartisan bill, introduced by members from districts hit hard by wildfires, reactivates the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2020 natural disasters, including wildfires.  Currently, WHIP only covers losses incurred in 2018 and 2019, and this bill would extend that support to losses incurred in 2020.  The WHIP program offers critical assistance to agricultural producers, including winegrape growers, whose crops were impacted by smoke taint.

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 “This year, record-breaking wildfires wreaked havoc on many of our communities on the Central Coast of California.  In addition to the structural damage, large swaths of our agriculture, including tons and tons of winegrapes, were tainted due to smoke exposure,” said Congressman Panetta.  “WHIP+ historically has been a lifeline to producers who suffered this type of disaster.  As it stands, unfortunately, the program does not cover 2020 losses.  Our legislation, the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act, will ensure that wine grape growers, who suffered severe losses during this unprecedented wildfire year, are eligible for these crucial payments.” To see the full text of the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act, click here.  

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