President Will Veto Farm Bill

Schafer doesn't endorse signing of proposed Farm Bill.

Published on: May 9, 2008

Congressional leadership voiced their hope during Thursday's press conference that the President would sign the proposed Farm Bill. That hope was short-lived as Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer following the conference said the President will veto the bill.

"I appreciate the House and the Senate's efforts to come to agreement and present us with final legislation but I can not endorse what they've done," Schafer says. "The President will veto this bill."

Schafer says the time for negotiating is up, which brings up the issue of will 1949 provisions be enacted if the extension of current legislation expires on May 16.

"We've looked at that here in the department," Schafer says. "With some of the authorities given the Secretary of Agriculture as well as some other publishing the issues and comment periods that we won't see any effect of a permanent law situation until after July 1."

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., say they hope for strong votes from both chambers.

"Like any compromise bill resulting from hard bargaining among regional and other interests, this farm bill is far from perfect," Harkin says. "But no piece of legislation is. It includes significant reforms, as well as major advances. It deserves the President’s signature."

Farm bills in the past have received strong bipartisan support. While the Senate should have the required two-thirds needed to override a Presidential veto, it's less certain in the House.

"I think as we all said it's a good bill," Peterson says. "The more people read it, the more they see what we've done, I think the more support it's going to get."