Enrolling Error Snares Farm Bill

Posted May 21, 2008 at 6:50pm

Democrats will have to pass another farm bill after the legislation sent to President Bush lacked an entire portion due to an enrolling error blamed on a parchment printout machine.

Democrats went ahead with an override vote of the farm bill despite the glitch, which passed 316-108, upsetting Republican leaders.

“We voted to override a bill that was never considered by the House and the Senate, and I don’t know how that is constitutional,” Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he heard about the snafu shortly before the vote and called it unfortunate. But, he said the bill — even without that title — passed both chambers identically.

Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) learned of the glitch late Wednesday, after President Bush vetoed the bill. Democrats plan to correct the error by passing that title as a separate bill Thursday, Peterson said.

“For some reason the machine didn’t print it out and nobody noticed it,” Peterson said. Peterson said he was told president’s staff noticed the error after the veto.

Title III of the farm bill, dealing with trade and foreign aid provisions, was omitted as a result.

—Steven T. Dennis