Senate Ag Committee chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa has pushed a bill through committee that adds two billion more dollars to an emergency farm aid package than has been approved by the House. The House-approved bill provides about five-and-a-half billion dollars to double the cash subsidy payments for farmers. Harkin’s additions earmark money for soil and water conservation projects for the next budgeting year. He says many of the programs will run out of money without the addition.Harkin says yesterday’s committee action indicates the direction of debate on the next farm bill.President Bush has said he won’t accept the higher amount of farm spending Harkin is advancing. Harkin says he hopes Bush will reconsider.The bill will next be considered by the full Senate, then a panel of House and Senate negotiators will meet to find a compromise between the two sides.
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