House Farm Bill Faces Threats

As the House farm bill moves closer to a vote, it faces threats from both sides of the aisle.

Proponents of the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill are hoping to win passage of it in the House before Congress' August recess. But even as the bill moves closer to a vote, it faces new Republican criticism.

Much of that criticism focuses on a last-minute proposal by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, to tax foreign-owned companies with U.S. subsidiaries in order to raise $4 billion for nutrition programs.

Ranking Ag Committee member Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., played a key role in developing the committee's bill, but in regards to the added proposal says, "It is a tax increase and we feel very betrayed by that."

Some Democrats want to see more done for conservation and nutrition programs, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is supporting the bill.

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns says he will recommend that President Bush veto the bill if it doesn't do more to cut farm subsidies. In response, Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson pointed out the bipartisan nature of the bill and said the administration had "failed rural America and all Americans" in its opposition to the bill.

TAGS: USDA
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