August 06, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, MO. – In the midst of one of the worst droughts to hit the nation in recent history, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) to call the Senate back to Washington this week in order to vote on the House-passed disaster relief package.
“This drought has taken a devastating toll on agriculture, which is a key economic driver in Missouri and nationwide. Without these critical disaster relief programs, farm families are left with very few options to make it through this drought,” said Blunt, who serves as Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies.
“The decision made by the Senate majority to leave Washington before passing much-needed disaster assistance is simply shameful and irresponsible,” Blunt continued. “The House and Senate left Washington without adjourning, and the Senate could still figure out how to pass the bill and respond to this disaster now.”
At the end of July, all of Missouri’s counties were designated a state of “severe” to “exceptional” drought – representing the worst level of drought possible. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently added 218 counties from 12 drought-stricken states to its list of natural disaster areas, bringing the overall total to 1,584 counties in 32 states – more than half of all the counties nationwide.
Nearly half of the nation’s corn crop is now in rated in the worst condition, with Missouri topping the list as one of the hardest hit states. Approximately 73 percent of the domestic cattle inventory nationwide is located in an area that has been impacted by this drought, and 57 percent of America’s pasture and rangeland is in “poor” to “very poor” condition, compared to 36 percent a year ago.
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