WASHINGTON — The Senate voted overwhelmingly Thursday to override President Bush's veto of the farm bill, brushing aside concerns about a technical glitch that led Congress to send the president an incomplete bill.
By a vote of 82-13, the Senate followed the House in garnering the two-thirds necessary to make the bill law despite Bush's veto.
Congressional leaders said 14 of the bill's 15 sections will now go into effect and they will deal later with the section on trade and international food aid that was inadvertently left out of the bill sent to the president.
The House, which voted Wednesday to override the veto, spent hours on Thursday arguing over whether the glitch meant the whole process was invalid because Bush vetoed a bill that was different than the one passed by Congress.
The House voted 306-110 on Thursday to pass the entire farm bill again; the House was also planning to approve the missing trade title again as a separate bill and send it to the Senate.
Senators less concerned
Senators seemed less concerned about the problem. They declined to take up the full bill again on Thursday after the override vote, and spent little time discussing the error.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, announced that the Senate would proceed with the override and that it was "totally constitutional to do what we're planning to do.”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, said there is "a chance we're going to have to pass the whole bill again” when lawmakers return from the Memorial Day recess in June.
But he said he was hoping lawmakers and the White House would come to the conclusion that only the missing trade section would need to be addressed.