House Passes $383M Drought-Aid Bill

    A tractor cuts down corn in a field designated as zero yield on a farm in Vigo County near Terre Haute, Indiana, U.S., on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared more than half the counties in the country natural disaster areas as drought sears millions of acres of pasture and cropland. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg via Getty Images

    The House passed a $383 million drought-aid package for livestock producers and fruit farmers by a 223–197 vote. The GOP decided to move forward with the measure once it became apparent that longer-term legislation, like a planned $500 million five-year farm bill would fail. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “This bill is just another indication of the Republicans doing something that doesn’t meet the needs of our economy.” Meanwhile, the ongoing drought has spread. Over a fifth of the contiguous U.S. is now in “extreme” or “exceptional” drought. It is also the biggest drought since 1956, with more than three fifths of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate drought.

    Read it at National Journal