House passes livestock disaster relief bill

August 2, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

It was uncertain whether the Senate would act on the bill before it adjourns for the summer break, and 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.