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Farm Bill Talk Surfaces Again

Farm Bill Talk Surfaces Again

President Obama addresses crowds in Iowa, sympathetic in drought

President Obama chastised newly-selected Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan on Monday for "standing in the way" of the House Farm Bill.

Obama began his remarks in Council Bluffs, Iowa, explaining his sympathy for drought victims in the U.S., but said the Farm Bill could provide some assistance.

"The best way to help these states is for the folks in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes some necessary reforms and gives farmers and ranchers some long-term certainty," Obama said.

The drought is a constant reminder that the Farm Bill has not yet passed the House.

Obama joins the many agriculture groups and Congress members that are pushing for a vote on the Farm Bill after the August recess.

Yet, the Farm Bill was not the only matter on the table. Obama reminded Iowa voters that in lieu of a Farm Bill, his administration was taking action.

Obama applauded Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for his leadership during the drought and added that his administration was working to provide assistance where needed.

"Last week, we announced $30 million to help ranchers and farmers get more water to livestock and rehabilitate land affected by drought," Obama said. "And today, we're announcing that the federal government will help livestock producers by purchasing over $150 million worth of meat and fish right now, while prices are low."

Obama said that American farmers and ranchers were vital to feeding the nation, and reminded his audience that the drought is a severe problem for agriculture.

"America depends on farmers and ranchers to put food on the table; depends on farmers and ranchers to feed our families.  So we've got to be there for them -- not just today, but tomorrow, and every day until this drought passes -- because we are Americans, that's what we do.  We take care of each other," Obama said.

In the recent weeks, the Obama administration's agricultural assistance efforts, led by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, have provided Conservation Reserve Program land for emergency haying and grazing, has lifted regulations on transportation, eased cash-flow concerns for farmers, and increased lending to small businesses.

For a full rundown of government actions in regards to drought, click here.

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