WASHINGTON — A House Republican leader said Thursday that the House may take up legislation next week to help farmers and ranchers hit by the drought that has parched much of the nation.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said that in the final week before Congress leaves for a five-week summer recess the House may consider legislation related to “programs and disaster assistance under the expiring farm bill.”

Earlier, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “I do believe that the House will address the livestock disaster program.”