U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said critical assistance to the nation's livestock producers devastated by historic drought conditions was ignored by Senate Democrats for partisan gain.
"I am outraged the Senate Democrats left town without even considering the House passed disaster package," said Roberts. "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 are 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 cattlemen and women that feed the world."
Senate Democrats today failed to bring the bipartisan drought assistance bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill was approved earlier today by the House. This Senate inaction blocked immediate assistance from aiding struggling producers across the drought stricken nation.
The House bill, which mainly aids livestock producers, was fully offset and reduces the deficit by $256 million.
The entire state of Kansas has been designated a federal disaster area due to drought.