OK, at some point my life, and thus this blog, will no longer be about the farm bill. But for now, this is what I do.

And today was the sort of farm bill day I’ve got to share.

President Bush vetoed the farm bill Wednesday, and the House voted overwhelmingly to override it. This is what we thought would happen. We thought the Senate would vote Thursday, override then BAM! the farm bill would be law. End of long, drawn-out story, already.

But wait — there was a glitch. A big one. And now they have to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.

Dear Lord, help us.

It turns out the “farm bill” the House sent to the President on Tuesday was missing a section. Oops. The printed version did not include one of the 14 titles, title three. It was the trade title, and was heretofore uncontroversial … until it was missing. Democrats say it was an honest mistake — oops, we lost part of the farm bill on accident. We meant to send it all — just a weird printing error. But “accidents” are not looked upon so lightly in the world of law. Some Republicans are calling it a violation of a little something they call “The Constitution.”

To clear things up, they are going to do the whole thing over again. Which means that the never-ending Groundhog Day cycles of the farm bill will continue. They’ll pass it again Thursday. They’ll send it again to the President and this time they will check to make sure ALL THE PAGES ARE THERE. Bush will have to veto it again, and then Congress will have to try to override the veto AGAIN.

I think some people may find this turn of events a bit shocking. But for those of us who have covered the long slog of back and forth on the farm bill, it comes as no surprise. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangell said last week he has attended more funerals for the farm bill than anything else. Just add this one to the list.

One of the reporters said “pinch me” when it looked like it was actually about to end. Looks like he was dreaming. The farm bill continues.

Advertisements