Friday, July 27, 2007

House Passes Farm Bill

The House passed it's version of the Farm Bill, but not without considerable debate:

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. House of Representatives Friday approved a$286 billion, five-year 2007 farm bill in a highly partisan vote that pittedDemocrats against Republicans after a tax provision was added at the lastmoment to pay for increases in food stamp funding. The House version of the farm bill has drawn sharp criticism from the Bushadministration this week because, according to U.S. Department of Agricultureofficials, it doesn't go far enough in reforming subsidies to cut governmentfunding and appease foreign countries threatening to sue the U.S. through theWorld Trade Organization. USDA Secretary Mike Johanns threatened to recommendthat President George W. Bush ultimately veto the farm bill if it is unchangedby the time it reaches the White House to be signed into law. But the farm bill is still far from that point. The Senate must also approvea version and then form a conference committee with House members to merge thetwo bills before it can be sent to Bush. Nevertheless, USDA's Johanns said Wednesday, "The official statement ofpolicy makes it clear that myself and the president's entire team of senioradvisers will recommend that he veto this bill if it is adopted in its currentform. We are unanimous on this point."

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