Obama Plays Politics with ‘Historic’ Drought
Last week, Senate Democrats played politics with the drought by not agreeing to the short-term drought relief measures passed by the House. Now, President Barack Obama is playing politics with the drought as well.
As Reuters notes, Obama on Tuesday “called on Congress to pass a farm bill that will send disaster aid to more farmers and ranchers.”
Obama was able to call on Congress to act because the Senate did not agree to the short-term measures the House passed before Congress took off for a five-week recess.
Farmers and cattle ranchers who have been most impacted by the drought and who need immediate relief now face more uncertainty due to the Senate’s inaction.
But the Senate’s inaction allows Obama again to run against “a Republican Congress” (even though Democrats control the Senate) and present himself as a peacemaker who achieves results to voters.
According to Reuters, Obama said “he hoped lawmakers get an earful from their constituents during the five-week recess away from Washington and that they reconvene on September 10 prepared to complete work on a farm bill ‘immediately.’”
"Congress needs to pass a farm bill that will not only provide important disaster relief tools but also make necessary reforms and give farmers the certainty they deserve," Obama said in his first remarks on the farm bill in weeks.
And fittingly, Obama applauded the Senate for its “good bipartisan work" (Much of the Senate bill deals with things that do not even relate to farming, but will help many of the constituencies on the left and special interests of both parties -- it is the type of bipartisanship that voters loathe).
But Obama failed to note the Senate’s inaction last week has caused more uncertainty and allowed Obama to be in a position where he could call on Congress to come together to pass a Farm bill.
The farm bill, nearly 80 percent of which dealt with non-farm related items such as food stamps, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture administers, was laden with pork and special interests tried to use the drought to pass measures beneficial to them.
And now Obama is playing drought politics to get himself votes.