skip to nav skip to content
Sen. Pat Roberts and Reno County farmer Chad Basinger assess a field of drought-damaged corn near Pretty Prairie.
The House has extended disaster assistance to livestock producers reeling from rising feed prices caused by the drought that has hit much of the nation.
The vote to revive expired disaster relief programs for cattle and sheep producers was one of the House's last before lawmakers left for their five-week August recess.
Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas said, "I am outraged the Senate Democrats left town without even considering the House passed disaster package. They are playing politics with a devastating drought.
"Make no mistake: the consequences of Senate inaction on this historic drought will not only be felt at home in Kansas, they will be felt in rising food prices at dinner tables across the nation.
"Every day that passes without livestock disaster assistance is another day that farmers and ranchers are forced to reduce their herds. This is the hard work and investment of generations of Kansans.
"The more cattle that culled this year, the longer it will take the U.S. herd to recover, and the higher beef prices will be next year when supplies are low.
"Livestock producers need assistance now. We should have passed the House bill today. This inaction should be recognized for what it is: political and irresponsible."
"This is shameful and is an abdication of our duty to the cattlement and women that feed the world." His comments were provided by the Senator's Washington office.
The Associated Press reports some Democratic opponents characterized the legislation as cover for Republicans having to explain to rural constituents why they put off action on a comprehensive five-year farm policy bill.
While many crop farmers have insurance that provides some protection from the effects of the drought, livestock producers are vulnerable to sharp increases in feed prices resulting from the dry weather.