WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush is sending a message to
lawmakers working out details on a massive farm bill.
At a White House news conference, he called on Congress to
reform the current system, including lowering payments to
multimillionaire farmers and "nonfarmers." During a time of
rising food prices, he accused lawmakers of preparing a "bloated
farm bill that would do little to solve the problem."
Negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on how to pay for
the measure, which would cost almost 300 billion dollars over five
years. A remaining sticking point is how much money farmers would
be paid in a time of record crop prices.
Bush has threatened to veto the bill and shows no sign of
changing his mind.
The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee says lawmakers
are considering an eventual limit on payments to high-earning
"nonfarmers," the term for people who make only a small part of
their income from farming. But he said that wouldn't involve income
limits on wealthy farmers.