Congress overrides president’s farm bill veto


SALEM, Ohio — Both chambers of Congress have voted to override the presidential veto of the new farm bill, making all but one section of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 the new law.

The U.S. Senate voted 82 to 13 May 22 to override President Bush’s veto and the House voted 316 to 108 May 21.

The only section of the farm bill left on the table is the trade title, which was inadvertently left out of the official copy of the farm bill that was sent to the president.

House ag committee chairman Collin Peterson said May 22 that the House took action to correct the clerical error.

The two votes mean most of the farm bill is now law, Peterson said, and the administration can being implementing the new programs and policies.

Bush veto

Congress sent the new farm bill to the president May 21, and he promptly vetoed the measure, just as he said he would, saying, “this bill lacks program reform and fiscal discipline.”

But it was the wrong bill.

A section was missing from the bill sent to the president, which means he did not veto the bill as approved by both the House and Senate.

The House re-passed the conference report May 22, and the Senate will again vote on the measure after the Memorial Day recess.

The trade title will have to be sent back to President Bush for review. If he vetoes this portion, too, additional House and Senate votes will need to be taken to override his action.


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