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.