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Roll Call

The House : Farm Relief

March 14, 1985

A bill that would have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency credit relief to hard-pressed farmers, as well as $175 million in non-food aid to African nations ravaged by drought and famine, was passed by the House on a vote of 255-166 and sent to President Reagan.

The President quickly vetoed the bill (HR 1096) because of its farm provisions. He called it a "multibillion-dollar bail-out . . . for bankers and farmers" and said members supporting it lacked the will to resist the pleas of special interests and attack the federal deficit.

The veto went unchallenged by Democratic leaders.

The bill was aimed mainly at helping financially troubled Midwestern grain farmers. It would have provided 1985 crop loans in advance of spring planting, authorized $100 million in interest subsidies and increased federal guarantees of private farm loans from $650 million to $2.5 billion.

Supporter John Dingell (D-Mich.) noted that Reagan is advocating a defense budget of $314 billion while calling the farm bill a budget-buster. This illustrates "the misguided priorities of this Administration," he said.

Opponent Robert Michel (R-Ill.) said needy farmers could get adequate financial relief from a $650-million pool of emergency loan guarantees already approved by the Administration.

How They Voted Yea Nay Did not vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x

Farmers Credit

Although it became moot with President Reagan's veto of the farm-relief package, the House passed and sent to the Senate on a 294-115 vote a bill to appropriate $1 billion as backing for increased loan guarantees approved in the earlier legislation.

The credit bill (HR 1189) also funded an enlargement of the Farmers Home Administration staff and a study of farm export problems.

Supporter Vic Fazio (D-Sacramento) said, "We must help the agricultural community restructure its entire debt load, so the good farmers can bring their debt payments below the level of their cash flow."

Opponent Beau Boulter (R-Tex.) said that, because it bails out inefficient farmers, "this Band-Aid will never get the job done, and I cannot support it."

How They Voted Yea Nay Did not vote Rep. Moorhead (R) x Rep. Roybal (D) x

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