Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just in from Washington


HOUSE PASSES MASSIVE FARM BILL

Washington—After five long years the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $290 billion farm bill. The 318-106 vote, nearly a two-third majority comes despite the threat of a veto from President George W. Bush.

Two-hundred billion dollars would pay for food for the poor along with nutrition programs. Congress earmarked $40-billion to farm subsidies and another $30 billion to farmers that enhance endangered species habitat and idle their land. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has worked on these preservation programs for years and was delighted to see them included in the bill.

“Landowner incentives like permanent tax deductions and tax credits are critical to the involvement of private property owners in assisting with the protection of endangered species on their property,” Crapo said. “This is a major step in efforts to protect these species, since the majority of habitat is on private land. Forming a financial partnership is likely to engage more private property owners and recover more endangered species."

The Senate started debate on the bill just hours after passage in the House. Senator Crapo says he would vote to override if needed, against the President. Insiders say the Bush Administration has an uphill battle because of the large majority in the house and the fact that farm states have far greater representation in the Senate.

Congress has overridden a Presidential veto before, a water projects bill, during George W. Bush's two terms.

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