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Friday, October 11, 2013

Congress Syndrome

Definition:  The inability to function without a cliff-hanger crisis. Even in a crisis, the functioning is seriously impaired.
10/10/2013 at 12:19pm
Lapsed Farm Bill Leaves S.D. in Limbo

The failure to pass a farm bill means South Dakota ranchers who lost tens of thousands of cattle in last week’s blizzard can expect no help from the Department of Agriculture.
By Tim Marema

KELO-TVA South Dakota rancher works cattle that survived last weekend's blizzard, in this screen grab from a South Dakota TV station news report.South Dakota cattle ranchers who lost tens of thousands of head of cattle in last week’s blizzard are ineligible for federal assistance because the program that previously protected livestock owners expired with the farm bill two years ago.

A new bill, which would have reauthorized the livestock disaster protection program and covered ranchers retroactively for losses in the last fiscal year, is stuck in Congress.

That means South Dakota ranchers – and any other American livestock owners who suffer losses – are on their own.

Estimates of the number of cattle lost in the South Dakota blizzard this weekend go as high as 5% of the state’s herd, or about 180,000 head.

“The only thing more appalling than the deaths of thousands of cattle is the inaction of our Congress, the House of Representatives in particular,” wrote John K. Hansen in an email. Hansen is president of the Nebraska Farmers Union.

“For the past two years, thanks to the inaction of Congress, the authority for or the funding of the livestock indemnity program has expired,” Hansen wrote. “This is one more good reason why we need to pass the new farm bill rather than extend the old one. This is a national disgrace. “

While Senator Cruz and his Tea Party cronies grandstand, nothing gets done and the people suffer.
Where is Senator Cruz, by the way? He seems to have disappeared. Perhaps he shut himself down.


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