Farm Bill Veto Overridden...Again

After procedural bungle on first draft of the bill, the measure went through the process again, Bush vetoed it again and the House over-rode that veto.

The House voted 317-109 this afternoon (June 18) to override the President's veto of a second version of the new farm bill. The version corrects an omission in the original bill passed in May. Action to finalize the bill will now move to the Senate, where a successful override is also expected.

The veto came quickly as expected. In a statement issued Wednesday, President Bush said he vetoed the new, complete version of the farm bill (H.R. 6124) because it failed to modify "ertain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent" rovisions contained in the original bill. The original bill (H.R. 2419) was enacted into law - after Congress overrode the President's veto in May.

Due to a clerical error, H.R. 2419 failed to include the 35-page, trade title. Immediately after final passage of that bill, the House sought to correct the clerical error by passing the identical bill, but with the inclusion of the missing pages. It was passed by both the House in May and by the Senate in early June. It was sent to the White House on June 16, the day the President returned from his trip to Europe.

Ironically, action on the second version in Congress will come just after a final harsh World Trade Organization ruling on the U.S. cotton program. The Bush Administration had warned, since unveiling its own farm bill proposal in January, 2007, that the new farm bill's failure to reform subsidies "will paint a target on the backs' of U.S. farmers."

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