WASHINGTON (AP) — California’s severe drought, stalled Middle East peacemaking and Syria’s civil war would appear to have little, if anything, in common, but President Barack Obama will address all three, and possibly other issues, on his first visit of the year to the nation’s most populous state.
Obama was traveling Friday to the Fresno area of central California, in the San Joaquin Valley, to draw attention to the state’s worst drought in more than 100 years.
Obama’s trip to California meant that he and his wife, Michelle, were spending Valentine’s Day apart.
The president was announcing more than $160 million in federal financial aid, including $100 million in the farm bill he signed into law last week for programs that cover the loss of livestock. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the programs had lapsed but were renewed under the farm bill. He said Obama has ordered that they be up and running in 60 days.