WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President George W. Bush on Wednesday vetoed for the second time in less than a month a bill approved by Congress that directs 290 billion dollars to food programs and agricultural subsidies.
This veto, like the first one, faces the risk again of being overridden by Congress.
The bill is largely the same text that Bush vetoed in May.
After the first veto, bill supporters in Congress gathered a veto-proof two-thirds majority that would enact the law without Bush's signature.
However, in the first version presented to Bush, due to a mistake, 34 pages devoted to foreign aid went missing.
To avoid problems Congress re-submitted the entire bill to the president, instead of just the missing section.
But Bush had not changed his mind. In a statement to the House of Representatives, Bush said he was again rejecting the measure "for the same reasons" that he rejected the previous one.
The president described the measure as an "unacceptable farm bill," and that Congress failed to "modifying certain objectionable, onerous, and fiscally imprudent provisions" from the first version.
Bush said the bill "continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than 20 billion dollars, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase."
The measure is also "inconsistent with our objectives in international trade negotiations, which include securing greater market access for American farmers and ranchers."
With commodity prices "at record highs, it is irresponsible to increase government subsidy rates for 15 crops, subsidize additional crops, and provide payments that further distort markets," Bush said.
The president added that the measure "restricts our ability to redirect food aid dollars for emergency use at a time of great need globally. The bill does not include the requested authority to buy food in the developing world to save lives."
About two-thirds of the measure finances national food programs and food stamps.
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »