House to Vote on Drought Bill

Just weeks before they leave for their August recess, the House of Representatives is planning to vote on a disaster assistance bill to aid struggling farmers. While the bill would need to be approved by the Senate before the recess, it is widely expected that the legislation will pass.

The disaster bill is necessary in part because of the delay regarding the 2012 Farm Bill. Passed by the Senate earlier this summer, the House has delayed putting the bill to a full floor vote (despite the Agriculture Committee passing a bipartisan draft earlier this month). With time rapidly running out before the current farm bill expires and with several drought and disaster programs from the last farm bill recently expired, the pressure has been mounting for Congress to address the ongoing drought currently plaguing American farmers.

The bill in question would renew several drought protection programs that expired earlier this year. Those programs, in addition to expanding benefits to corn and soybean farmers, offer protection to livestock farmers who typically do not take part in crop insurance programs, but are being hit hard by the drought.

“It is critical that we provide certainty to our producers and address the devastating drought conditions that are affecting most of the country, and I look forward to supporting and advancing this legislation,” said Rep. Frank Lucas, chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer