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Paccione Calls on Musgrave to Stop Stalling on Agriculture Disaster Relief - 9/26/2006

For Immediate Release: September 26, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
(970) 222-6397

Paccione Calls on Musgrave to Stop Stalling on Agriculture Disaster Relief

Musgrave’s inattention to farmers facing disaster in her district is unacceptable.

FORT COLLINS—State Rep. Angie Paccione today called on Marilyn Musgrave to join a renewed effort to pass agriculture disaster relief legislation before Congress adjourns this week.

By joining the discharge petition, H. Res. 998, Musgrave would help force the Republican leadership of the U.S. House to take quick action on emergency legislation which would provide disaster assistance to Colorado agricultural producers for crop and livestock losses as a result of drought.

“It’s time to lay politics aside,” said Paccione, named a “Friend of the Farm Bureau” by the Colorado Farm Bureau and endorsed by the National Farmers Union PAC. “She already missed one opportunity to help the farmers and ranchers of this district. Marilyn, sign this petition.”

The U.S. Senate recently passed $3.9 billion in agriculture disaster funding, but the House leadership stripped it out of the final legislation. Musgrave has remained silent on the omitted funding, and Paccione has in the past called on Musgrave to urge her party’s leadership to re-authorize the aid to farmers devastated by disaster.

Last April, Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) introduced H.R. 5099 to provide disaster assistance for both 2005 and 2006 losses. The bill is currently languishing in committee. H. Res. 998, introduced this month, circumvents the committee process and brings the legislation directly to the floor of the House for action. Congress is scheduled to adjourn on Friday, therefore the discharge petition allows Congress to take action before the November election.

A coalition of more than 30 pro-agriculture organizations supports the discharge petition, including the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Independent Community Bankers of America, and the Farm Credit Council. Farmers across the Fourth Congressional District are facing disaster from a devastating drought, while agriculture communities are increasingly seeing farmers leave the business.

“Colorado agriculture is in crisis, while for weeks Marilyn Musgrave has played politics in Washington,” said Paccione. “Marilyn needs to stop this irresponsible pandering to special interests and reach across the aisle to get real results for our farmers and ranchers.”

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