Policy & Politics
2008 Farm Bill
It took Congress overriding two vetoes by President Bush, but Congress finally enacted the farm bill into law.
After a prolonged congressional process, the entire $290 billion, five-year farm bill become law in June 2008. Most of the farm bill was enacted in May, when the House and Senate had their first votes to override Bush's previous veto of the legislation. But the 34-page trade title was missing from the parchment copy sent to the White House, so that section had not yet become law. President Bush's second veto of the bill this week was met with swift action on Capitol Hill. Both chambers had more than the two-thirds majority needed to outweigh the White House. The House voted 317-109 in favor of the bill. This week's votes end more than two years of work in Congress on the law. The five-year farm bill continues most crop programs, increases funding for working-lands conservation programs and has incentives intended to spur cellulosic ethanol production. More than half of farm bill funding goes to food stamps and other nutrition programs. "I can't think of any other piece of major legislation that has been voted on as much as that one," Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, said yesterday. "It was vetoed twice and overriden twice. That ought to be enough." USDA has already begun to implement the bill and will continue to write rules for all programs through the balance of 2008.
The following bipartisan group of Ohio Members of Congress voted in SUPPORT of the farm bill:
Sen. Sherrod Brown