BUSH tells farmers $5.5 billion agriculture spending bill is good


Wednesday, August 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) -- President Bush told farmers near his
ranch Wednesday that a new agricultural spending bill is good for
them, though it will contain $2 billion less than many lawmakers
had sought.
Joining five area corn farmers for lunch at a cafe, Bush said
the $7.5 billion farm authorization defeated in the Senate last
week would have contained too much wasteful spending.
Democrats failed to break a Republican filibuster of the
measure, which had been approved by the Agriculture Committee, and
instead the Senate approved $5.5 billion in farm assistance.
"Some folks tried to increase the (spending measure), but that
money wasn't going to the farmers, it was going for other
matters," Bush said. "The extra money they tried to put on it
would have busted the budget and wasn't going to the farmers."
Bush had threatened to veto the larger spending bill.
"The bill I'm going to sign here next week, it gets to the
farmers who are farming," Bush said.
Bush also pledged to restructure federal farm programs next year
so that the money goes to those who need it.
Finishing his remarks, Bush dismissed reporters from the Coffee
Station. "Having said that, now we can eat," Bush said, waving
the journalists away with a smile.
He and first lady Laura Bush ordered cheeseburgers. They stopped
at the hub of tiny downtown Crawford on the fourth full day of
their monthlong vacation. A sign outside the restaurant read, "Mr.
and Mrs. Bush, come by.