News Releases

Murray, Cantwell Applaud Committee Approval Of Apple Relief Payments

Jul 25 2001

$50.3 million in emergency aid will benefit Washington State Growers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today applauded the Senate Agriculture Committee for approving $150 million in emergency payments to apple growers. The apple relief package is included in the emergency economic legislation for agricultural producers. Senators Murray and Cantwell worked closely with the Senate Agriculture Committee to include the apple legislation.

"Securing emergency payments for apple growers is one of my highest priorities," said Murray. "It's clear to everyone who has visited and talked to apple growers the last two years that we're in a crisis. This is a great first step toward making these payments law."

If the $150 million package for apple growers becomes law, producers in Washington State would receive approximately $50.3 million.

"Many apple growers are being driven to the brink of bankruptcy by the drought and market forces beyond their control," Cantwell said. "Washington state apple growers produce one half of all apples nationally. Securing payments for Washington state apple growers will help our growers to continue to make a significant contribution to the national and world apple markets."

In June, Senators Murray and Cantwell joined Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to introduce legislation to provide $250 million in emergency payments to apple producers. Companion legislation was introduced on the House side.

The House included $150 million in its version of the fiscal year 2002 agriculture appropriations bill. The $150 million is now contained in both major pieces of agriculture legislation moving through Congress: the fiscal year 2002 agriculture spending bill and the fiscal year 2001 agriculture emergency package.

It is expected that the emergency package for agriculture could be completed and sent to the President before Congress adjourns for the August recess.