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Obama Highlights Federal Response to Drought in Iowa

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(BOONE, Iowa) -- Touring drought-stricken Iowa, President Obama Monday showcased the power of incumbency as he touted his administration’s response to the drought and announced new federal aid to help farmers and ranchers.

The federal government is buying up to $170 million worth of meat, poultry and farm-raised fish, the Obama administration announced Monday. “Because of the drought, there are a lot of folks out there that are trying to sell meat right now,” Obama later told reporters while visiting the parched McIntosh family farm in Missouri Valley.

“So, just like you might buy more chicken when it’s on sale and freeze it, we are going to stock up. Prices are low; farmers and ranchers need help; so it makes sense.”

After accusing Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, earlier Monday of blocking aid to farmers, the president reiterated that, "the best way to help these states is for Congress to act."

“They need to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some long-term certainty. But the folks suffering from this drought can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So in the meantime, I’ve made sure that my administration … is doing everything we can to provide relief to those who need it,” he said.

"This won’t solve the problem. We can’t make it rain," he said of the new aid. "But this will help families like the McIntoshes in states across the country, including here in Iowa. And we’re going to keep doing what we can to help because that’s what we do. We are Americans. We take care of each other. And when our neighbors hit a rough patch, we step up and help out."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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