WASHINGTON – President Bush has received a $290 billion farm bill that he plans to veto, but which is likely to be turned into law anyway.
Bush has said he doesn't like the price tag and claims the bill doesn't do enough to curb direct agriculture payments to wealthy agribusiness. But the House is poised to override his veto on Wednesday.
While about two-thirds of the farm bill would pay for emergency food aid and food stamps, $40 billion would go to farm subsidies and $30 billion would go to farmers to "idle" their land and other environmental programs.
A two-thirds vote in the House and Senate is required to override a presidential veto. If bipartisan coalitions in both chambers are successful, this will be only the second override of a Bush veto since the Democratic takeover of Congress in January 2007. Last fall, Congress overrode the president on a $23 billion water and infrastructure measure.
Efforts to override the veto would be a little easier this time. Just Tuesday, the House swore-in its 435th member, Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss. It is the first time in months the House has been at maximum membership. Two other new Democratic representatives filled in vacancies within the last two months.
Childers is a big farm advocate and agriculture is the biggest industry in his home state. Thus, Childers could cast one of his first votes in favor of one of his primary causes.
Despite nearly six years in office, Bush had not used his veto pen until he rejected a 2006 stem cell bill under the last Republican Congress. He has since issued six vetoes. The House attempted to override two of them and failed.
FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.