The politics of this year’s election makes drought aid an interesting dynamic.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that agriculture isn’t a top priority in any national election. We might be a key component of national security and the national economy, but we simply don’t have the votes to be anything but a side note in the proceedings.
Still, if it wasn’t an election year, we almost certainly wouldn’t have seen a bill separate from the farm bill that provided $383 million to agriculture. Nor would it have included aid for a lot of non-disaster stuff.
Industry Resource Page: Drought management advice
The politics of this year’s election makes drought aid or assistance an interesting dynamic. The overriding theme is debt reduction, so there will be absolutely no help from non-affected areas. Plus, Republicans who are trying to make out-of-control spending an issue will be hesitant to spend more. At the same time, discontent in the countryside makes any representative or senator facing re-election anxious to bring home some pork as a way to buy some votes.
Sadly, there will be very little discussion about need or the best way to mitigate the damage from the drought. Rather, it will all be decided by how the issue will benefit or harm one’s re-election chances, or how it will play into the narrative that both parties are trying to create for the general election.