House and Senate to vote on national farm billby Minnesota News Network, MNN
A new five-year farm bill is ready for final approval in the U.S. House and Senate.
Congress is expected to pass the bill this week, then it heads to the president's desk for a likely veto.
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said the president may not have the last word with his veto pen.
"If he does, I will work very, very hard to override that veto. I'm confident in the Senate that we would have the votes to override the veto," said Coleman. "I am hopeful that on the House side, there'll be enough votes to override the veto. I would hope the president doesn't veto this bill."
President Bush called the farm bill bloated. Coleman disagrees, saying most of the money goes for nutrition, including nearly $8 billion for food stamps.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-Minn., who chairs the House Agriculture Committee, says the measure makes investments in conservation, energy, nutrition and rural development. He says it also strengthens farm income protection.
"We're not at the finish line. We still got work to do. We got to get the bill through the House and the Senate, and we hope, with a good vote. And we got to figure out some way to get this into law," said Peterson.
Peterson said 73 percent of the $300 billion bill goes to nutrition, and only 16 percent goes to farmers.