At a grassroots campaign event held this morning at Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs, President Obama discussed how Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s pick for his Vice Presidential running mate, is blocking the farm bill that Congress needs to pass in order to provide relief and certainty to U.S. farmers and ranchers. The President also highlighted his Administration’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the current drought – including purchasing livestock to provide assistance to those who need it.
Here are some excerpts of the President’s prepared remarks….
“Right now folks here in Iowa and across the heartland are suffering from one of the worst droughts in 50 years. Farmers and ranchers depend on a good crop season to pay the bills and put a roof over their heads, and I know that things are tough right now.
“The best way to help these states is for leaders in Congress 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 right now, too many members of Congress are blocking that bill from becoming law. Now, I’m told Governor Romney’s new running mate might be around Iowa these next few days. And he’s one of those leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away.
“But the folks suffering from this drought can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So in the meantime, I’ve made sure my Administration is doing everything we can to provide relief to those who need it. Last week, we announced $30 million to help farmers and ranchers, get more water to livestock, and rehabilitate land affected by the drought. Today, we’re announcing that the federal government will help livestock producers by purchasing over $150 million worth of meat and fish now, while prices are low, and freeze it for later.”