Farm Bill Passes, Well, Partly

It was just within their grasp, and then Congress found out that 34 pages of the $307 million Food, Conservation & Energy Act of 2008 Conference Report (H.R. 2419) was missing when they voted to pass it and when President George W. Bush vetoed it. The good news is that when the full bill is presented after the Memorial Day break, it’s expected to finally pass.

As reported in CropLife eNews last week, the bill was approved by the full House of Representatives and full Senate, then was delivered to President Bush. He exercised his veto on Wednesday, May 21, as expected, stating that the bill was bloated and wasteful. Within hours, the House voted 316 to 108 to override the veto.

Then 34 pages of the official parchment paper-printed document that was sent to President Bush went missing. As the Associated Press termed it, “That means Bush vetoed a different bill from the one Congress passed, raising questions that the eventual law would be unconstitutional.”

The House and Senate were preparing to pass the full 673-page measure again, send it to the president again, where he was expected to veto it again, then the House was expected to reject the veto again, and the Senate would take its turn voting down the veto. All this for a clerical copying error.

According to the International Herald Tribune, the House was able to pass the bill — this time the complete version — on May 23.

The bill provides several policies that will benefit ag retailers: Agricultural Chemicals Security Credit, Technical Service Provider (TSP) Program Reforms; Grants to Reduce Production of Methamphetamines from Anhydrous Ammonia, Limits Speculation and Increases Transparency in Energy Markets andn  funding to study the transportation system.

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