Jul 31, 2012 6:59 PM by Matt Stafford
WASHINGTON (AP) - House GOP aides say party leaders have dropped plans to extend the current farm program and instead are going to press for immediate help for livestock producers whose federal protections against drought losses expired last year.
The decision Tuesday comes as Republicans feel pressure to extend relief to drought-hit farmers and ranchers before Congress begins its summer recess this week but are stymied by internal divisions on how to proceed with a broader renewal of farm subsidies and food stamps.
Republicans had initially announced plans to extend for one year the current farm and food programs, which expire on Sept. 30.
But Democrats balked and Republicans found themselves without the votes for a broader renewal.
The aides required anonymity because rank and file Republicans had not been briefed.