By HDN Editorial Board
Thank goodness the U.S. Senate has finally acted on drought relief and today approved $6 billion in disaster aid for the nation's farmers and ranchers who have been devastated by drought.
What a sense of relief that provides to area producers, who have been hammered by this natural disaster. We hope the House also agrees to the spending and that President Bush agrees to it.
Too bad a lot of Republicans, including President Bush, are saying our nation can't afford to help farmers and ranchers in danger of losing their livelihood because of conditions that are outside their control.
The Republicans talk about deficit spending. They should have thought about deficit spending before going along with Bush's silly plan to buy our allegiance with a tax rebate once he took office.
The Bush administration's argument that it has already done enough for farmers with the last generous farm bill is also silly. You have to have a crop to benefit from the farm bill.
That doesn't do anything for farmers and ranchers who have been damaged by a multi-year drought.
By the way, we commend U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., for voting for drought aid today. And we commend U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., for his tireless efforts to secure drought aid for Montana ag producers.