Senators Call for Task Force to Address Impacts of Drought

By KBJR News 1

Senators Call for Task Force to Address Impacts of Drought

August 2, 2012 Updated Aug 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM CDT

Washington, D.C. (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are urging President Barack Obama to coordinate immediate response to the drought.

On Thursday, the senators urged the President to coordinate a wider federal response to the drought that, they say is hurting farmers, ranchers, businesses and communities in Minnesota and across the country.

Klobuchar and Franken, along with 12 other senators, wrote to the President for formation of an Interagency Drought Task Force to bring together officials from every federal agency that oversees agriculture, public lands, energy, water, public health, and emergency response.

The group would address future responses to the widening drought conditions that are forcing food and fuel prices to rise.

"In short, this drought will have consequences on many sectors of the American economy, and it requires the cooperation of many parts of our government. Thus, we ask that you convene an Interagency Drought Task Force as soon as possible," wrote the senators in their letter.

The senators added, "We urge you to direct the task force to report as soon as possible on the severity of the drought, the impacts and expected impacts to all sectors of the economy, the options available to address drought under current law, and fiscally-responsible recommendations for Congressional action to further assist those impacted by drought. "