Panetta and others introduce bipartisan bill to reauthorize WHIP program for 2020 wildfires

24 November 2020

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USA – Congressman Jimmy Panetta and representatives Mike Thompson, Peter DeFazio, Barbara Lee, and Dan Newhouse have introduced the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act in the House of Representatives. According to a recent release, this bipartisan bill, introduced by members from districts hit hard by wildfires, would reactivate 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 wine grape growers, whose crops were impacted by smoke taint.

“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 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.”

Read the text of the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act here.  Learn more about the WHIP+ program here.

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