President Obama has called on Congress to pass the stalled five-year farm bill, saying it is the best way to combat the historic drought gripping most of the central U.S., according to a story in The Hill.
Making the comments at a meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills on the drought, the president said it's "the single best way to help rural communities in the short term and the long term."
Although the House passed a bill last week that would have extended livestock and tree-grower disaster aid programs that expired in 2011, they have been unwilling to bring up a House Agriculture Committee passed five-year bill, which includes disaster aid and expanded crop insurance. The Senate has passed their version of a new five-year farm bill.
"Now is the time for us to come together and go ahead and get this done. And my hope is that Congress, many of whom will be traveling back to their districts, in some cases in rural communities, and see what’s taking place there, will feel a greater sense of urgency and be prepared to get this done immediately upon their return," he said.