Led by South Dakota Republican Kristi Noem and Vermont Democrat Peter Welch, 38 Republicans and 24 Democratic House members sent Speaker John Boehner, right, and other House leaders a letter asking them to "make this legislation a priority." The letter does not specifically mention the drought, but does say the bill should be discussed by the House to ensure that "we have strong policies in place so that producers can continue to provide an abundant, affordable and safe food supply." Both the Senate version of the bill and the one stalled in the House would provide increased crop insurance to farmers to help protect against losses like those being caused by the drought.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow told Kim Geiger of the Los Angeles Times that Boehner needs to bring the bill to the floor, and "We need to add some additional disaster assistance for 2012 as part of that." Boehner said last week that no decisions about the bill will be discussed at this point, Geiger reports. Aleta Botts of the University of Kentucky's Cooperative Extension Service created a set of flow charts outlining the different courses of action lawmakers could now take to get the bill passed. Find the chart here.