CHN: Farm Bill Becomes Law With a Glitch
By veto-proof votes of 318-106 in the House on May 14 and 81-15 in the Senate on May 15, the Farm bill reauthorization, (the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007, H.R. 2419) passed both chambers. The bill makes important improvements that will raise food stamp benefits, increase funding for emergency food, and fund fruit and vegetable snacks in low-income schools. (See 5/12/08 HNR for more details)
As anticipated, the President vetoed the bill on May 21. Immediately that same day the House acted to override the veto by a 316-108 vote. The Senate followed with an 82-13 override vote on May 22. During the process it was discovered that due to a clerical error one of the 15 sections of the bill was dropped before it was sent to the White House. It was agreed that because the intent of House and Senate leaders was for the entire bill to be sent to the President the override votes could apply to the entire bill, therefore, making it law. However, as a precautionary measure Leadership decided to schedule a vote of an entirely new bill (HR 6124) that was identical to the 15-title, $289 billion version approved last week. The House passed the new bill by a 306-110 vote before it left for the Memorial Day recess on May 22. The Senate will pass the bill when it returns the first week in June. The bill will be sent to the President who will again likely exercise his veto authority, and Congress will again respond by overriding the veto.