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ICBA Applauds Senate Passage Of Emergency Spending Bill

Measure Contains Important Ag Disaster Package

Washington, D.C. (May 4, 2006)—The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) applauds Senate passage of the emergency supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939). The legislation contains roughly $4 billion in disaster relief for farmers and ranchers who experienced weather related losses in 2005.

"In addition to providing significant aid to producers who experienced production losses from last year's hurricanes, this package also provides assistance to producers in other parts of the nation that also experienced significant loss of crops and income," said Terry J. Jorde, ICBA chairman, and president and CEO of CountryBank USA, Cando, N.D. "We urge House and Senate conferees to retain the agricultural disaster aid during conference proceedings."

ICBA joined two dozen organizations in writing to the Senate last week urging lawmakers to keep the disaster aid package in the bill. In their letter, the groups noted that virtually every state in the nation has been impacted by significant weather related and disaster losses. About 80 percent of U.S. counties were declared disaster or contiguous disaster counties last year due to devastating hurricanes, fires, floods, excessive moisture and severe drought.