Blunt calls on Reid to end recess and bring Senate back to help farmers

“I urge the Senate majority to return to Washington this week and help Missouri farm families by passing critical disaster assistance,” Blunt wrote.

The Senate version of the farm bill included disaster relief and passed in that chamber before the August recess, but the House failed to take up their version of the farm bill, leaving many Midwest lawmakers upset with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). 

But Blunt blamed Reid for the lack of a relief package because the House passed one shortly before recess started.

“The decision made by the Senate majority to leave Washington before passing much-needed disaster assistance is shameful and irresponsible,” Blunt wrote.

While the drought legislation remains stalled, the Obama administration announced earlier this week that it would buy $170 million worth of meat from struggling ranchers as part of the federal food nutrition assistance programs in order to help them during the record drought.

“As I travel across Missouri, I continue to hear stories about the toll that this drought has taken on farmers, ranchers, and other job creators statewide,” Blunt said. “The President's unilateral actions are simply insufficient. The House and Senate left Washington without adjourning, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could still figure out how to pass the bill and respond to this disaster now.”

According to Department of Agriculture numbers, a majority of America’s pasture and rangeland is in “poor” to “very poor” condition, compared to 38 percent a year ago.

Blunt said he hopes a relief package will pass in September when Congress returns.

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