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Good For Bush

He's going to veto the farm bill:

"At a time of record farm income, Congress decided to further increase subsidy rates, qualify more people for taxpayer support and move programs toward more government control," Schafer told reporters today. "The president will veto this bill." ...

Bush had also asked for a $200,000 cap on payments to farm owners. The bill ends payments to individuals with more than $500,000 of non-farm income or more than $750,000 in farm income.

Schafer said the president also objects to a sugar-to- ethanol program in which the government would buy surplus sweetener from producers for resale to biofuel plants, and cuts in crop insurance, which the Bush administration prefers to subsidies. 

The bill passed the Senate with 79 votes, so presumably they'll vote to override Bush's veto. It only received 231 votes in the House (mostly Democratic, sad to say), well short of two-thirds, so that seems like the most likely place for a veto-override showdown. One big difficulty here, of course, is that (by design) nutrition aid for the poor is included in the bill, so you're forced to vote for the big farm subsidies if you want to get food stamps passed. As a result, the bill got near-unanimous support from urban representatives, even though there aren't any farms in their districts. But I think it's still worth playing a little chicken and trying to derail the bill--ultimately some version of the farm bill is going to pass and food stamps will inevitably be included, no?

--Josh Patashnik