Note: The following is from Pro Farmer's daily service, First Thing Today. We'll cover the possibility of a drought aid package in this week's Pro Farmer newsletter.
The odds are shifting to the upside regarding a possible House vote on a solo drought assistance bill after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “We understand the emergency that exists in rural America. And we will address it as soon as possible.” Separate bills have been introduced in the Senate (S 3384) and House (HR 6167) that would reinstate three expired livestock disaster aid programs, but also a controversial crop aid program called the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE). The Senate approach to a separate ag disaster aid bill is also uncertain, as Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has instead pushed for the House to take up a new farm bill, which includes extending the expired livestock disaster aid program, but not SURE. It appears some farm-state lawmakers are using the need to extend the lapsed livestock disaster aid programs as leverage to get the House to bring up its version of a new farm bill.