Lawmakers struggle to reach drought relief deal

WASHINGTON (AP) - Prospects for a drought relief bill to help California farmers appear as likely as the state being deluged by three straight days of rain.

Key federal lawmakers and staff are working behind the scenes to settle differences in two bills that separately passed the House and Senate earlier this year.

The lawmakers won't say where progress has occurred or what roadblocks remain, but time is running out for the current congressional session. Congress will be out for the rest of August and for virtually all of October. In all, House members are scheduled to be in Washington for votes for only about 25 more days this year.

California has experienced three consecutive dry years and most of the state is suffering from extreme drought.


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