Lawmakers, farmers upset with Obama denied disaster request - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawmakers, farmers upset with Obama denied disaster request

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Iowa lawmakers and farmers are upset after President Obama has denied Governor Branstad's disaster declaration for avian influenza.

Branstad sent a letter to the Obama Administration asking for unemployment assistance, disaster case management, and crisis counseling for the counties affected heavily by the avian flu.

He also asked for a tonnage waiver on federal roadways so poultry carcasses can be disposed quicker.

But again, Obama has denied all  those requests.

In a conference call Thursday, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said she was deeply disappointed by the administration's decision. 

Iowa farmers echoed her statement.

In a hearing Tuesday, turkey farmer Brad Moline spoke about the hit his farm took.

"I have over 40 hours o paper work that needs to be done, that time could have been better spent cleaning buildings and disinfecting," said Moline.

The administration denied the aid request to farmers like Moline even though the outbreak is the worst ever recorded in U.S. history.

The disease wiped out 40% of Iowa's egg laying hens in four counties, and lawmakers say there is a ripple effect on Iowa's economy. 

"The crippling impact has devastated Iowa's poultry industry, farmers, producers, and local communities," said Ernst.

Now farmers have to look to the future, but with our without federal assistance, lawmakers say there's still much work to be done.

Governor Branstad's team says they're working to decide if an appeal would yield a different outcome than the initial request.

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