U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said that critical assistance to the nation’s livestock producers devastated by historic drought conditions was ignored by the Senate.

“I am outraged the Senate Democrats left town without even considering the House passed disaster package,” said Roberts. “They are playing politics with a devastating drought. Make no mistake – the consequences of Senate inaction on this historic drought will not only be felt in Kansas, they will be felt in rising food prices at dinner tables across the nation.

“Every day that passes without livestock disaster assistance is another day that farmers and ranchers are forced to reduce their herds,” Roberts said.

“The more cattle that are culled this year, the longer it will take the U.S. herd to recover, and the higher beef prices will be next year when supplies are low. Livestock producers need assistance now. We should have passed the House bill today. This inaction should be recognized for what it is: political and irresponsible.

The House bill, which mainly aids cattle and sheep producers, but does not address pork, dairy and poultry producers, was fully offset and reduces the deficit by $256 million.

The entire state of Kansas has been designated a federal disaster area due to drought.