The Bush Administration has stated its opposition to the ag disaster relief legislation contained in the Senate-passed emergency appropriations bill. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) stated in the administration's Statement of Administration Policy that the administration "strongly opposes the Committee's ag assistance proposal, totaling nearly $4 billion. The 2002 Farm Bill was designed, when combined with crop insurance, to eliminate the need for ad hoc disaster assistance. In 2005, many crops had record or near-record production, and U.S. farm sector cash receipts were the second highest ever."
The National Farmers Union (NFU), in a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, said, "America's food producers have fallen victim to circumstances beyond their control. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, budget cuts, low commodity prices and skyrocketing energy costs have placed a significant burden on our nation's food and fiber producers."
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) have called upon the administration to reconsider its position. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent