Congress Passes Veto-Proof Farm Bill
UPDATE: Senators gave final congressional approval this afternoon to the farm bill by a veto-proof margin of 81-15, news services are reporting.
The Bush administration has pledged to veto the nearly $300 billion measure.If that occurs, each chamber must call a new vote and pass the bill by a two-thirds majority.
If a presidential veto is trumped, the five-year farm bill could be enacted into law by the end of next week.
The House yesterday passed a veto-proof version of a five-year farm bill, possibly signaling the end of a drawn-out fight with the Bush administration over the nearly $300 billion measure, Dan Morgan reports today for The Post.
Bipartisan support for the bill -- about 100 Republicans voted for the bill, allowing it to pass 318 to 106 -- came after intense lobbying by farm groups, anti-hunger advocates, environmental organizations and the biofuels industry. While continuing traditional farm subsidy programs, the bill increases spending on nutrition programs such as food stamps by $10.4 billion.
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer and the Bush administration have criticized the bill, calling it a "bloated measure" loaded up with taxpayer-funded pet projects.
A 2006 Post examination into government spending for agricultural subsidies identified more than $15 billion in wasteful, unnecessary or redundant payments.
By Derek Kravitz |
May 15, 2008; 12:12 PM ET
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