(WASHINGTON) — With the country being hit by one of the worst droughts in more than 50 years, President Obama uses his weekly address to highlight the dry spell’s impact and the steps he’s taking to respond.
Saying that the “heat is just half the story,” the president says Americans everywhere will soon start “feeling the pinch” of drought “with higher prices on grocery store shelves across the country.”
But, he says, “we can’t let that happen.”
He says the administration is extending low-interest emergency loans to farmers; opening more federal lands for grazing; and just this week, allocated $30 million this week to help get water to livestock.
“This is an all-hands-on-deck response, and we’ll be doing even more in the coming weeks to help families and communities that are suffering right now,” he says in his address.
But, the president says, the Administration can’t do it alone. He also calls on Congress (now on summer recess) to pass a farm bill with reforms to help protect farmers from disasters like this.
“So call your Members of Congress, write them an email, and tell them that now is the time to come together and get this done,” he says. “Too many Americans are suffering right now to let politics get in the way. Let’s help farmers, ranchers and business owners recover. Let’s make sure that families who already stretch their budgets to the limit don’t have to pay more for groceries this fall.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal
Kevin Liptak, CNN