La. Ag Urges Vote for Farm Bill

May 14, 2008

WASHINGTON (May 14, 2008) — In a letter sent to every member of the Louisiana Congressional delegation yesterday, leaders from the state’s agricultural sector asked lawmakers “to work with others in Washington, D.C. to over-ride the [expected Presidential] veto before it occurs by overwhelmingly approving the farm bill now.”

“While none of us achieved everything we wanted in this tortuous process, the final bill contains many important provisions and changes essential to Louisiana’s farmers,” read the letter-which in addition to farmer organizations was signed by Mike Strain, the state’s new Republican agriculture commissioner.

Strain was elected last fall along with Governor Bobby Jindal, another Republican who is very familiar with the farm bill. Jindal was one of just a handful of Republicans to vote in favor of the farm bill when it first came before the U.S. House of Representatives last July.

Many Republicans voted against that bill over extraneous funding issues that had nothing to do with farm programs. Those issues have since been resolved, and the bill is expected to easily pass the House when it is voted on, likely today. A Senate vote will likely take place tomorrow.

The question now is whether or not supporters of the farm bill can garner the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override an expected veto by the White House.