Farm Bill Blocked

CAPITOL HILL (AP) -- The Senate has blocked a 286 billion-dollar farm bill.

Farm state Democrats who had hoped to offer constituents expanded subsidies ahead of next year's elections headed home for the Thanksgiving recess blaming Republicans for the bill's failure. Some Republicans had wanted to offer amendments dealing with the alternative minimum tax, immigration and other issues unrelated to agriculture.

Democrats failed to get the 60 votes they needed to cut off debate on the measure. The final vote was 55-42.

The Bush administration had been threatening a veto, saying the bill was too expensive and offered wealthy farmers too much.

Today's vote could push consideration of the legislation into next year or beyond. Senate Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin said yesterday that the bill may fare better after next year's elections, with a new Congress and a new president.

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