Tags: Bush | Signs | Massive | Farm | Bill

Bush Signs Massive Farm Bill

Monday, 13 May 2002 12:00 AM

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, however, was opposed by some Republicans who warned increased spending would strain the federal budget.

"It's not a perfect bill, I know that," Bush said at a signing ceremony. "But I know no bill ever is."

Original versions of the legislation passed the House on a 280-141 vote on May 2. The Senate passed its version 64-35 Wednesday.

"The success of America's farmers and ranchers is essential to the success of the American economy," Bush said. "Their livelihood depends on things they cannot control: the weather, crop disease, uncertain pricing.

"They need a Farm Bill that provides support and help when times are tough."

The bill increases government subsidies for wheat and other grains and reinstitutes subsidies for wool and honey. According to the Congressional Budget Office projections, those subsidies account for about 73 percent of increased spending, about $57.7 billion above current levels over the next six years.

Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., who opposed the bill, said the subsidy would "encourage overproduction and will drive down" prices, hurting farmers in the long run.

"Not only are we tinkering with these price controls and hoping that the government gets it right, but we are taking a huge step backward in complexity and ease of use," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. "This bill will put more bureaucratic elements into a farm's operations. This cannot be a good development."

Under the bill, government funding for land conservation and other environmental programs will increase 80 percent. It restores food-stamp eligibility to legal immigrants who have been in the country five years. Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, however, was opposed by some Republicans who warned increased spending would strain the federal budget. It's not a perfect bill, I know that, Bush said at a signing ceremony. But I know no bill ever is. Original...
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2002-00-13
Monday, 13 May 2002 12:00 AM
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