House advances $383 million drought aid bill

Republicans originally hoped to move the bill, H.R. 6233, as a suspension bill, which would have sped up the process but required a two-thirds majority vote. But when it became clear that there was a lack of support among many Democrats and even many Republicans, the GOP called it up under regular order so it could pass by a majority vote.

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Among other things, many Democrats were upset that the bill was not combined with a bill extending farm programs.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) called on colleagues to support the rule and the bill, and said the drought plaguing U.S. farms this year is leading to consequences beyond just rising food prices. "Not only does drought aggravate the risk of wildfires that have raged throughout the west, but it compromises our crops, which are used to feed our livestock and even fuel our cars," she said.

But Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), reflecting Democratic frustration with the bill, criticized the closed rule that will allow no amendments, and called it a Republican bailout.

"The solution is not another Republican, big-government government bailout of yet another industry," he said. "The Republicans have bailed out Wall Street, the Republicans have bailed out the banks, now the Republicans are seeking to bail out cows."