Congress approves $290 billion federal farm bill
By Jim Turner
Congressman Tim Mahoney,
“This farm bill, in combination with the energy bill already
signed into law, completes the foundation upon which Florida will build the biofuel industry that will power America’s engine and make
us more secure,” Mahoney said Wednesday after the House approved the bill. “It
means more jobs for our state and it means our children will be able to stay in
The White House has called the bill — which could pump
million of dollars in grants and loans to
Mahoney said that is a sign that the President “has lost
touch with reality and what’s happening with rural
The bill, supported by most Democrats and one Republican in the House, includes numerous projects that lawmakers can bring home to voters this election year. Included in the bill are: tax breaks for Kentucky racehorse owners; extra help for farmers in Hawaii and Alaska; dollars for salmon farmers in the Pacific Northwest; incentives for non-profits to buy land from Montana’s Plum Creek Timber Co.; allow extra payments to tobacco growers; provide extra money for Nevada lakes and North Dakota wetlands; and supply more food stamps for the needy.
The 318-106 vote in the House and 81-15 Senate vote on Thursday for the five-year bill came despite President Bush’s promised veto.
With Farm income expected to exceed the 10-year average by 50 percent this year, President Bush has noted that married farmers who make up to $1.5 million can still collect subsidies.
“I believe doing so at a time of record farm income is
irresponsible and jeopardizes
Congress has only overridden one Bush veto — on a wide-ranging water projects bill — during his presidency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.