Lawmakers Seek Reauthorization of WHIP for 2020 Wildfires

A Group of Representatives from Western states, including Central Washington’s Dan Newhouse, introduced a bill last week to reauthorize the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, known as WHIP+, for 2020 natural disasters. The WHIP+ program offers critical assistance to agricultural producers, including grapegrowers, whose crops were impacted by smoke taint.

WHIP+ can cover losses from flooding, hurricanes and wildfires, are any named natural disaster. Reactivating WHIP+ for 2020 is a priority for the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF is also calling on Congress to allow farmers and ranchers impacted by the Midwest derecho storm to be included in the program. The derecho, not being a named disaster, doesn’t qualify under the current program rules.

Newhouse of Washington state said, “WHIP+ will help our winegrape growers recover from the damages of this year’s catastrophic wildfires.”

House Democrat Mike Thompson of California said, “This bipartisan bill activates the WHIP+ program for these 2020 fires and helps these growers hit hard by disasters.”

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