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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – An amendment by U.S. Senator Patty Murray to provide $3.9 billion in Agriculture Disaster Relief today passed the Senate Appropriations Committee as part of the Emergency Supplemental bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and to Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts.

The amendment provides funding equivalent to 30 percent of their direct payment to farmers and ranchers nationwide who have born the brunt of increased fuel, fertilizer and other costs due to the impact of Katrina. It also includes $100 million to fruit, vegetable and livestock producers through programs such as marketing and promotion assistance.

“I am pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee, passed this amendment in a bipartisan fashion,” Senator Murray said. “I have met with farmers across Washington state and time and again I hear about how they are reeling from high fuel and fertilizer prices. This amendment makes their lives a little easier by providing the support that helps family farms get by and will improve our ability to feed our nation and keep our country strong.”

The amendment was attached to the Supplemental bill unanimously. The bill – including the Agriculture Disaster amendment – now goes to the floor for a vote by the entire Senate.