Dan Looker reported on Friday (“No doubts left on farm bill veto plans”) at AgricultureOnline that “Calling Congress’ new farm bill too expensive, trade distorting and lacking any real reform, Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer repeated his prediction that President George W. Bush will veto the farm bill when it arrives on his desk.
“‘I have visited face to face with the President. He was very clear and very direct. He will veto this bill when he gets it,’ Schafer told reporters Friday.
“Schafer said that the bill increases subsidies at a time of record farm income, will use more tax revenue at a time of tight budgets and failed to make overseas emergency food aid more efficient by refusing to adopt an Administration proposal [pages 81-82] to allow local food purchases of up to 25% of food aid.”
(A complete transcript and audio replay of Sec. Schafer’s remarks from Friday has been posted at the USDA Online, and a FarmPolicy.com audio podcast summary of Friday’s news briefing, which also included perspective from Dep. Sec. Chuck Conner, is available here (MP3-10:37)).