Farm Bill Thursday: Negotiations Are Hot and Heavy
Lots of farm bill news this morning. The Politico reports: "Farm Bill negotiations teetered at a make-or-break stage Wednesday after House Democrats and Republicans joined forces to press the Senate to scale back its demands or risk a historic disruption of the current commodity programs next month." The House would like to trim $8 billion from the bill over the next ten years — a proposal that drew praise from the USDA — but the Senate dismissed it. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the Agriculture Committee, "is furious with the White House-backed payment limits and dismissed the (House) proposal as something that should be 'thrown in the trash barrel.'"
The new proposal cuts spending for farm supports, nutrition programs, land conservation and other areas, according to Congressional Quarterly. Good summary, as always, can be found at FarmPolicy.com.
Senators are pushing back, more assured than the House that they can override a Bush veto. (The House wants to pass a bill Bush will sign.) Meetings continue today.