What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : Farmers : H.J. Res 2. Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations/Vote to Provide $3.1 Billion in Drought Relief for a Limited Number of Farmers. (2003 senate Roll Call 15)
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H.J. Res 2. Fiscal 2003 Omnibus Appropriations/Vote to Provide $3.1 Billion in Drought Relief for a Limited Number of Farmers.
senate Roll Call 15     Jan 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss
Qualifies as polarizing?
Yes
Is this vote crucial?
Yes

Farmers in Mid-western states have been adversely affected by droughts over the last two years. To help struggling farmers, the Senate included $2.4 billion for drought aid in its recent version of the Farm Bill but the provision was dropped after President Bush threatened to veto the entire Farm Bill unless the aid was removed from the bill. This amendment to the 2003 federal budget, proposed by Senator Thad Cochran (D-MS), provides $3.1 billion in aid to farmers if their county is declared a disaster areas or if they have suffered at least 35% crop lose in 2002. Progressives support helping struggling farmers but opposed Cochran's amendment on account of its limited scope. By the aid formula in Cochran's bill only a fraction of farmers--those in disaster areas or those will losses exceeding 35% in 2002--would receive the assistance they need. Progressives supported a similar but more comprehensive measure proposed by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) (see Roll Call Vote #16). The Cochran amendment passed the Senate by a 59-35 margin.

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