Even as the drought worsened in the Midwest and Great Plains, Congress proved unable to provide relief for farmers and ranchers before leaving for a month of campaigning.
The House on Thursday approved a scaled-down $383-million package primarily to help ranchers whose livestock losses and feed costs are mounting as arid conditions make land unusable for grazing. But the Senate declined to consider the bill before recessing, preferring a broader bipartisan measure that it passed overwhelmingly last month.
The vote in the House was 223 to 197, with 35 mostly farm-state Democrats joining Republicans in support. Most Democrats held out for the broader bill.
“This House should not go home while literally hanging our ranchers out to dry without a safety net to get through this drought,” said freshman Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), who is from a ranching family. http://ow.ly/cISy8