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Senate Votes to Override Farm Bill Veto

After the House repassed a new version of the farm bill following partisan strife over a technical error, the Senate voted Thursday afternoon, 82-13, to override President Bush’s veto.

But it’s unlikely the Senate will reconsider the Title III provisions before recessing for Memorial Day.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that the chamber would not vote on the budget resolution until after the weeklong recess. The House is not expected to vote on it either until then.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) suggested the Senate would easily take up the missing Title III language after it returns to work in June.

He said he had spoken with officials at the Agriculture Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and that they could get by in the interim before Title III is reauthorized.

“We’ll deal with that at some other point, which shouldn’t be a problem,” Harkin said after the veto override.

“We’re not sure where we’re going to be when we come back,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). “I hope maybe that these waters will smooth out and we can move ahead with the concurrence of the White House.”

Still to come Thursday, the House is expected to pass either a stand-alone version of the Title III farm language that was inadvertently omitted from the original bill, or the House could act to extend the current Title III farm statute through its expiration on Friday, according to House Democratic aides.

There is some talk of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) whipping Republicans to vote against whatever Title III measures the Democrats advance.

Jennifer Bendery contributed to this report.

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