President Clinton met privately with a group of Iowa farmers, GovernorTom Vilsack and Senator Tom Harkin Friday afternoon to discuss the deepeningfarm crisis. Vilsack said afterwards that Clinton recognizes the need, andpromised to push for short-term relief.But U.S. Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott on Friday rejected the idea ofemergency aid for farmers, accusing democrats of “playing politics.” Lottsaid it was best to wait ’til after the fall harvest to see if the farmsituation is that dire. Vilsack responded saying, farmers can’t afford towait. For example, government commodity loans are due on September 1st. Senator Harkin spoke with reporters after the meeting.Harkin, a democrat, says if Republicans like Senator Lott hold up farm aid,thousands of farmers will be forced out of business.As Clinton flew to Iowa yesterday aboard Air Force One, Harkin andCongressman Leonard Boswell joined him and talked with the President aboutthe Farm Crisis.Clinton said he and other administration officials are working on an aidpackage for farmers for THIS year. Clinton said every American should sharein the economic boom times.Last night, Clinton appeared at a fundraiser for Senator Harkin.
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