U.S. farmers hit hard by drought, drenching rains or other disasters in 2009 shouldn't expect emergency aid from Congress this year.
Chris Gallegos, a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, says the House didn't act on legislation before representatives left Washington for the holiday break, and that means the soonest a package could be approved is next year.
He says the urgency to secure the aid remains and that Cochran, a Republican, would look for options for moving the plan ahead as soon as possible.
Cochran is among the Southern lawmakers pushing for at least $2.1 billion in emergency aid for farmers. They believe existing federal programs can't provide the help needed fast enough.