Obama announces $30M more in drought assistance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is directing the Agriculture Department to authorize an additional $30 million to help crop and livestock producers in drought-stricken areas of the U.S. The spending does not require congressional approval, and the money has already been allocated to the department.

Obama held a meeting on the government's drought response at the White House Tuesday. He announced a series of additional steps to assist people and businesses hit by the drought, including a Transportation Department program to help commercial truck drivers deliver supplies to affected areas.

Obama also called on Congress to pass a farm bill languishing on Capitol Hill. He says passing the five-year, $500 billion farm bill would give farmers much-needed certainty.

Officials say the drought is the worst in the U.S. in 25 years.

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