Lucas: USDA fails to deliver support to Oklahoma farmers.

Feb 20, 2024
Agriculture
Press

Washington, DC – At today’s House Agriculture Committee hearing, Congressman Lucas questioned Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack over the Biden Administration’s failed Emergency Relief Program (ERP).

Congressman Lucas noted that producers in Oklahoma were feeling the negative affects of the ERP 2022 program. Secretary Vilsack questioned this claim, prompting Congressman Lucas to defend his constituents.

Click here or on the image below to watch the full exchange.

HIGHLIGHTED QUOTES:

Lucas: “Based on the reports I am hearing from my producers back in Oklahoma, ERP 2022 has proven to be no better than its’ predecessor at delivering support to those who suffered the greatest crop losses…”

Vilsack: “When you give us 30% of what we asked for – when we tell you that the damages are $10-12 billion, and you basically appropriate $3 billion – you put us at a tough spot.”

Lucas: “But, Mr. Secretary, when you change the programs where that you screw up the delivery and screw up the 30%, it makes it difficult to come back and ask for the other 70%.”

Vilsack: “It didn’t screw up at all…”

Lucas: “But my producers back home who are actually raising the food the fiber to feed our country… tell me resources are not going to production.”

Vilsack: “That’s not true…”

Lucas: “I know, Mr. Secretary, what my producers are telling me.
BACKGROUND:

A year ago, Congress appropriated $3.7 billion in agriculture disaster relief to support farmers who suffered weather-related losses during the 2022 crop year. 


The administration rolled out the ERP 2022 program on October 30, 2023. This newest ERP methodology is deeply flawed and leaves many of those hardest hit by drought and natural disasters without the support they need. 


In December, Rep. Lucas joined a letter urging Secretary Vilsack to follow Congressional intent of the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) and ensure support goes to producers who suffered drastic crop losses, not those who the USDA deems to be socially disadvantaged.


Also last year, Lucas joined a letter urging the USDA to revisit and amend their implementation of the second phase of the ERP 2021 program.


Rep. Lucas also questioned Secretary Vilsack about ERP 2021 Phase two in a House Agriculture Committee hearing last year, which you can watch here.

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