Farm Bill Heads to House Floor

A tremendous number of groups are supporting the Farm Bill.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up the Farm Bill on the floor Wednesday morning. Once the House votes the Senate will take up the legislation. A tremendous number of groups have come out in support of the Farm Bill. More than 550 signed a letter Tuesday urging both the House and Senate to support the bill with enough votes to override a Presidential veto that has been promised.

"This is by no means a perfect piece of legislation, and none of our organizations achieved everything we had individually requested," the letter states. "However, it is a carefully balanced compromise of policy priorities that has broad support among organizations representing the national's agriculture, conservation and nutrition interests."

The groups signing on to the letter represent not just traditional commodity groups, but specialty crop, conservation, nutrition, consumer and religious organizations across the country.

While a simple majority is needed to pass the bill, two-thirds of the House would have to vote to override a veto. Mary Kay Thatcher of the American Farm Bureau Federation says that she doesn't know if the required 290 votes will be cast for passage but thinks the votes will be there if an override is needed.

Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, one of the principal farm bill negotiators told reporters that the President may not pressure House Republicans to vote against the bill.

"I think when you have a lame duck President; he has very weak loyalty from his own party," Grassley says. "I think you are going to see an override in the House."

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