Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after the House passed the Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2012 (H.R. 6233):
"I support a responsible long-term farm bill, but the ballooning costs of the Obama Administration's food stamp program--which accounts for roughly 80 percent of the farm bill's cost--has made it increasingly difficult to gather support for one. This year's crippling drought means that a critical part of Arkansas's economy, our state's agricultural community, is facing serious challenges, and needs support now. In 2008, the Democrat-controlled Congress passed a farm bill that left out a final year of disaster assistance. The solution is to fix their error by passing this emergency drought assistance package, which will allow us to continue forging a responsible, long-term farm bill that includes much-needed reforms."
More than 44 percent of Arkansas is under exceptional drought, more than 80 percent of the state is under extreme drought, and more than 96 percent of the state is under severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The USDA's first disaster designations for Arkansas counties were announced July 11.