Farmers, who are quite literally the backbone of the entire world, should be at the top of any priority list when it comes to providing relief after a rough year due to circumstances beyond their control.
After all, they do grow the food we need to survive. I’d say that’s kind of important.
One Iowa Republican lawmaker, Rep. Randy Feenstra, included an amendment in the COVID-19 relief package that’s currently making its way through the House that would help farmers who experienced the rare weather phenomenon last year known as a “derecho.” The derecho is an unbelievably powerful wind event that can do tornado-like damage over a very wide area. In layman’s terms, think of it as the front-end of a category 5 hurricane moving across an area that doesn’t experience hurricanes.
Needless to say, when the Midwest experiences one of these rare events during the growing season, the crops are typically devastated — as in, completely destroyed. That’s what happened last year as you might remember, and the derecho event stretched across multiple states, but Iowa took a massive hit.
How big of a hit did farmers take? About $7.5 billion, which is hurricane-level financial disaster.
Feenstra was naturally quite unhappy when it was revealed that his amendment was stripped. Adding to the frustration is that he’s not even completely sure why other than the likely culprit of partisan bickering.
“At the end of the day, it seems Democrats are choosing to put politics over people. Instead of helping natural disaster victims, they’d rather use this bill to pay for abortions with taxpayer money and fund their pet projects, like a $100 million train to Silicon Valley,” Feenstra said in a statement after the decision.
“There may never be another vehicle that could move with this provision. I won’t apologize or meekly defer to some backroom legislative writers room,” Feenstra said. “It is being stripped for what reason — because it happens to be offered by a Republican?”
Even Democratic Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne put party politics aside and voted in favor of including the amendment, in order to provide some much-needed relief to the good farmers in her state. She was also unhappy upon learning that the amendment was stripped from the bill.
“I’m disappointed to see the bipartisan amendment that I helped include in the Agriculture section of the bill will be removed prior to our final vote today,” Axne said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Luckily, there may still be some hope to pass the provision on its own, at a later date.
“I will be working with my colleagues from Iowa and my colleagues on the House Agriculture Committee to ensure we secure this relief separately for victims of last year’s derecho as soon as possible,” Axne said.
With that being said, it’s still sad to see lawmakers continue to place their political gamesmanship above the actual needs of the very people who elected them to office.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org