Congressional efforts to win drought relief have been shot down again. Drought aid was stripped from the farm bill before it was passed. And Friday an attempt to add a one-billion dollar drought relief amendment to the homeland security bill was rejected in the Senate. Still, backers of the relief plan vow not to give up.
No matter the form, political intervention is standard operating procedure in American agriculture. And from global trade policy to tax reform, the White House has a long history of trying to connect with rural America through political means. The latest case was made by the current president, who arrived in the Heartland Friday to tout the permanent repeal of the estate tax.
President Bush: "Finally, the United States Congress realized how unfair the death tax is to the people who make a living on the farm. And finally we repealed the death tax."
President Bush made a stop in Iowa today, where he outlined key provisions of America's new farm policy.
Speaking to a supportive and enthusiastic crowd, the President reaffirmed his admiration and support for the nation's farmers.
President Bush: "I'm honored to be with the good folks who live the values of the farm. And it makes no sense to have a tax that drives people off the farm. For the good of American agriculture, let's make sure that death tax is forever buried and forever done away with."
The President made his remarks at the World Pork Expo, an industry rally and tradeshow sponsored by the National Pork Producers Council.
Much of the speech focused on the Bush Administration's trade policy and specifically the President's desire for Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track Authority.
President Bush: "I understand the need to fight for foreign markets so that what we're good at something, we benefit. And we're good at growing hogs and we ought to be selling our hogs all across the world. I need the Trade Promotion Authority."