COMPREHENSIVE DISASTER BILL FAILS IN U.S. SENATE
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- In a procedural vote, the U.S. Senate voted 57-35 against allowing action on a comprehensive agricultural disaster bill Wednesday. The bill, which would have provided relief for Alabama's farmers, needed 60 votes to pass.
"I am extremely concerned that the Senate chose not to take action on such an important bill," said Alabama Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks. "Our farmers have been looking to this bill for help, and at this time there is no federal assistance coming like we had hoped."
"Farmers in the state have gone through the worst drought experienced in Alabama in 15-20 years," Sparks added. "We have to help them recover so they can possibly have a good year in 2007. This bill should have been moved through a long time ago, but for the Senate to not take action now is disappointing."
Sparks said he will continue to work with Alabama's Congressional delegation to push for a comprehensive disaster bill until one is passed. There will be an opportunity for a comprehensive disaster bill to be presented again in early 2007.