Thursday, November 08, 2007

Farm Bill may have to wait until 2008; Iowa Republican senator says veto would be overridden

The Farm Bill has been before the Senate for four days with no work being done on it, and disputes threaten to defer it to 2008. Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the bill would be delayed unless a compromise can be made on the amendment process, reports Reuters. Reid "left open the possibility he would ask a vote next week to shut off debate on the bill and that debate might be deferred to next year," writes Charles Abbott. "Reid says he does not want the war in Iraq, immigration, estate taxes or other issues to be debated as part of the farm bill," reports Bob Meyer of Brownfield Network. "Republicans object to the limits saying that some of those issues do pertain to agriculture."

A staffer to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the minority leader would be open to a compromise on the amendment process that would allow Reid and McConnell to meet in private to decide which amendments reach the floor. Earlier, McConnell had opposed limits on amendments, but on Wednesday Reid said the two were working to create a list of acceptable amendments, reports Agriculture Online. Before the bill reached the Senate, McConnell indicated that he wouldn't mind letting it wait until 2008 because his constituents who had an interest in it seemed happy with continuing farm programs as they are.

Tuesday, the Bush administration released a seven-page statement outlining its objections to the bill which added to the threat of a possible veto, reports the Des Moines Register. Late Wednesday, a spokesman for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said senators will not do any more work on the bill until next week, reports the Register. The Senate has just one more week of work before taking its Thanksgiving break. Grassley told the Register's Philip Brasher the bill would get enough votes to overcome a veto. "Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said that the administration found fault with 'virtually every part of the bill' and that a veto would only delay spending that is 'needed now more than ever,'" writes Brasher.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

McConnell's an R. I know you know this, but just a heads up that it's misprinted.