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Congress, Bush May Need Do-over On Farm Bill

Having overridden President Bush’s veto of the Farm Bill, the House may have to do it all over again after restoring a missing title dropped inadvertently from the enrolled legislative text sent to the White House Tuesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday night that the “likely” solution to the parliamentary snafu will be for the Congress to send Bush a newly numbered bill with the full text of the one voted upon last week.

That would include Title III, covering trade provisions and some international nutrition assistance, which was not enrolled on the formal parchment sent to the White House.

“We can pass a full bill again. I think that’s likely, or we can just do Title III,” Hoyer said. He had not yet consulted with Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) but signaled that passing the bill again was the cleanest route and one he hoped could be done quickly.

Both in the vote last week and on the override Wednesday, 100 Republicans joined Democrats in support of the Farm Bill. Hoyer’s hope is that Congress waves the newly numbered bill through, Bush vetoes again, and the override votes resume.

But little about the Farm Bill has gone smoothly. And one casualty already in the whole affair could be plans for passing the 2009 budget resolution before the Memorial Day recess. Hoyer indicated that will now wait until lawmakers return in June, and the rest of this week will be devoted to clearing up the Farm Bill confusion and a debate on a defense authorization bill.