COLDWATER (WTVB) - A drought relief package has been approved by the U.S. House. However, the Senate declined to go along and the bill is in limbo until after the August congressional recess. The 383-million dollar Republican House bill aims to offer relief for drought-stricken farmers. House Democrats said the bill was hastily-crafted and offers only selective relief. Drought relief was supposed to be one part of a sweeping farm bill, approved earlier by the Senate, but the bigger bill fell apart in the deeply divided House. Last month was the hottest July ever in Southwest Michigan based on average daily temperatures. The highs in July are part of a package that includes a warmer than normal winter, spring and early summer. National Weather Service Meterologist Brandon Hoving says from January 1st through yesterday, we remain on a record pace and the long range forecast continues to indicate pretty warm conditions persisting in this part of the country at least through the next few months. He says it never dipped below 60-degrees this July, the first time that has happened since they started keeping records in 1892.
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