Disaster Assistance 'By The End Of The Month'

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says the administration will provide agricultural disaster assistance "by the end of the month."

Published on: Aug 9, 2010

Movement on agricultural disaster assistance could come "by the end of this month," according to a letter Senate Ag Committee chair Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., released on Friday.

The letter, from Robert L. Nabors II, acting deputy director of the Executive Office of President, references a conversation Lincoln had with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel regarding disaster assistance to farmers.

A week ago, Lincoln agreed to drop a disaster assistance provision from a bill after the White House it could be done administratively.

In the letter, Nabors the USDA and OMB have existing authority to make the disaster assistance available and are currently evaluating the "appropriate manner.

"I want to assure you that the Administration is committed to providing assistance consistent with your legislative proposal by the end of this month," Nabors wrote.

The USDA has used administrative authority to pay for programs ranging from small hog operations in 1999 and for WTO technical assistance and capacity building for Brazil cotton.