WASHINGTON — In an attempt to appease the White House, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Virginia Rep. Robert Goodlatte, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, have proposed a new version of the 2007 Farm Bill. The new draft of the bill features significant cuts, among them eliminating a $5 billion emergency fund for farmers who lose crops to weather-related disasters, reducing spending on federal nutrition programs and cutting subsidies for many crops. President Bush had threatened to veto an earlier version of the legislation, which passed both the House and Senate, arguing that it was full of wasteful spending. Members of the House Agriculture Committee have warned that if a compromise cannot be reached within the next few weeks, Congress could bypass an extension of the current law, and as a result, farm policy will revert back to permanent federal statutes last updated in 1949.
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