Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bush Puts Agriculture Assistance on the Chopping Block

President Bush issued his first formal veto threat last evening against the Fiscal Year 2006 emergency supplemental spending bill, demanding that lawmakers cut at least $14 billion of assistance including $4 billion in agricultural relief. The President said he would reject any version of the bill that exceeds his original request of $92.2 billion.

The veto threat is bad news for Arkansas' farmers who suffered significant losses during the 2005 crop year. If lawmakers bow to the President's threat and strip the agriculture assistance from the bill, we will lose our last great chance to secure agriculture assistance for the 2005 crop year.

Here is what the President wrote in his formal statement to Congress:
"The Administration strongly opposes the Committee's
agricultural assistance proposal totaling nearly $4 billion. The 2002 Farm Bill was designed, when combined with crop insurance, to eliminate the need for ad hoc disaster assistance. In 2005, many crops had record or near-record production, and U.S. farm sector cash receipts were the second highest ever. Furthermore, the proposed level of assistance is excessive and may over-compensate certain producers for their losses."

Click Here for the President's full veto report.