Bush Urges Congress to Finish Farm Bill by April

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush is urging Congress to keep current farm law for another year if lawmakers can't agree by April on a new bill to extend farm and nutrition programs.

Bush says he will sign a one-month extension of the existing farm law passed by both chambers Wednesday, pushing expiration to April 18th.

The 2002 law originally expired September 30th and has been extended repeatedly.

The president said lawmakers should stop relying on such short-term fixes and approve at least a one-year extension if it expires without a new law in place.

The Bush administration has threatened to veto both the House- and Senate- passed versions of the five year legislation that would provide $286 billion to expand farm and nutrition programs such as food stamps and farmer subsidies.

House and Senate leaders have urged the two agriculture committees to finish the bill, but political pressure to produce the legislation has not been as strong as in the past.

Prices have reached record highs for many crops, and many farmers would be pleased with an extension of current law.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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