Congress has completed its override of President Bush''s veto of the $289 billion farm bill on Thursday. Except for the 35 page trade section which was deleted by error, the new bill will be enacted as law. Democratic lawmakers said the omitted section would be handled separately.
The Senate voted 82-13 on Thursday to override a day after the House vote of 316-108. "Fourteen of the 15 titles of this bill are now the law of the land," said Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa).
The new law expands food aid programs for the poor and encourages land stewardship and development of biofuels.
"There are a number of precedents that what we did yesterday was valid," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who assured representatives that 14 of the 15 sections of the original bill will become law.
Republicans and Democrats continued their verbal spars today. Republicans accused their opponents of cutting corners in their rush to complete action on the bill before Memorial Day. "The fact is, that''s not the bill we voted on," said David Drier of California.
Meanwhile, National Farmers Union President Tom Buis commended the U.S. Senate today for their override vote. "Today''s vote brings a near completion to a long process that many Americans have been waiting for,” said Buis. "Fourteen of the fifteen titles are now law, and I do not expect anyone in Congress to oppose finalizing the trade title after the recess.