WASHINGTON, DC–With drought conditions approaching critical levels in the Deep South, Great Plains, and Southwest, Congress allocated some major moolah toward relief efforts in the afflicted regions Monday.

Dennis Hastert announces the allocation of some major scratch (left) to U.S. farmers.

The federal-aid package, all 14.8 billion samoleans of it, will be allocated in the form of emergency irrigation, crop subsidies, and long-term low-interest loans to farmers living in counties declared agricultural disaster areas.

"Ka-ching!" Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters, cranking his right arm in imitation of an old-time cash register. "The American farmer may be suffering through some of the worst drought conditions of the last half-century, but thanks to this much-needed aid, he'll soon be swimmin' in some serious smackeroos. Those living in the hardest-hit areas should find their wallets fatter to the tune of a cool hundred Gs per farmer."

Wheelbarrow of money.

"And brother," continued Hastert, winking and elbowing reporters, "that ain't hay."

Congress' decision to give up the cheddar comes in the wake of near-record temperatures throughout much of the nation, with parts of Texas and New Mexico averaging 110 degrees since July. As wildfires continued to spread across the Rocky Mountain region and the prospect of drought-related food-price hikes loomed, legislators unanimously approved a chunk of relief change that would choke a goat.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) fans out a fat stack of federal disaster relief.

"Oh, yeah," Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said. "Mmm-hmmm. Montana's farmers and ranchers, devastated by months of drought and wildfire, have got 14.8 billion big ones coming to them, baby. We're talkin' some serious dough for my troubled constituents, slated to go toward livestock subsidies, emergency feed assistance, water hauling, and watershed development. Hot-cha, that's a lotta green."

"Loot, coin, shekels, cabbage, clams, scratch, ducats, benjamins, dead presidents–whatever you call it, one thing's for sure: This is the real stuff, all right," said Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. "Pretty soon, those farmers are going to be living large, raking in more than $140 million from the Federal Deferred Grazing Assistance Program alone. And that's just one of more than 30 emergency funding measures passed by Congress. No doubt about it, these farmers are gettin' paid."

U.S. agricultural workers are grateful to be rolling in it after the long dry spell. "Thanks, Uncle Sugar," said Norman Billups, a Comanche, TX, cattle rancher. "Usually, when it comes to laying out the cash, you're tighter than a steer's ass in fly time. But this is quite a pile, no doubt about it. Thanks to you, we're flush again."

Billups added that he would celebrate the aid allocation by getting himself some of the pink that winks and stinks.