Farm Bill Veto Delayed by 'Missing' Pages

A technical glitch has delayed President Bush's veto of a $300 billion farm bill. Due to a clerical error, the bill that the president vetoed was missing 34 pages.

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BILL WOLFF: From NPR News in New York, this is the Bryant Park Project.

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MIKE PESCA, host:

Overlooking historic Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, live from NPR studios, this is the Bryant Park Project from NPR news. News, information, no complaints. I'm Mike Pesca.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

And I'm Rachel Martin. It is Thursday, May 22nd, 2008. We are excited to be here. We love our jobs. We are a little sleepy, but we are not going to talk about it. We are not talking about it. Why are we not talking about it?

PESCA: Well, some days before, we talked, we said, what do you want to talk about out? And I said, oh, God, I am tired, and you said...

MARTIN: I said we cannot talk anymore about our level of fatigue because, if I were a listener listening to our show, I would be like, you know what? Get over it. You host a great radio show, it's a great gig, and if you don't want to do it, don't do it.

PESCA: So what I have decided to do is tell you my little anecdote.

MARTIN: And how - you weren't going to talk about it?

PESCA: But instead of tired, I'm going to say the word inspired.

MARTIN: Ah.

PESCA: So last night, I was so inspired. I was more inspired than I had ever been. We were at my wife's grandmother's 99th party birthday, it was about 10:30 at night, and I had gone four nights in a row with only getting two hours of great creep-meep-weep, you know what I am saying? Sh sh.

MARTIN: OK

PESCA: And I said to myself, I've never been more inspired in my life. And like, wait a minute, every night before we go to meep, we are 100 percent inspired, so maybe it's just kind of like humidity. once it's at 100 percent, it's just raining. So I don't know if it was true, but all I am saying is back then is that I was pretty darn inspired.

MARTIN: I'm glad we got that sorted. Everyone out there has no idea what we were just talking about, but Mike is really inspired and not tired. What's coming up on the show?

PESCA: Last year, Wharton professor, Justin Wolfers, made some headlines with a study where he found that pro-basketball referees tend to give better calls to players with whom they share a race in common. Now, he has looked at whether that knowledge would give him an advantage betting on games, and found that, yes, indeed it would.

MARTIN: Plus, direct from MySpace into our hearts, Kate Nash. We'll put a quarter or a nickel in the BPP Jukebox and hear some music from Nash, Nash's in-studio performance here at the BPP.

PESCA: And we hear about a casualty assistance officer, a man tasked with visiting families who lost a military service member. Pulitzer Prize winning author Jim Sheeler has chronicled the work of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Steve Beck in a new book called "Final Salute." And we will get today's headlines in a just a minute, but first...

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MARTIN: President Bush is set to veto the farm bill, again. Thanks to a clerical error, yes, a clerical error, it's Groundhog Day in the nation's capital. we'll explain.

PESCA: It started a week ago when congress passed a 290-billion-dollar farm bill. Here's what that sounded to members of the House and Senate.

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MARTIN: Two-thirds of the bill does go to nutrition programs, but there's no shortage of earmarks. Six million for water systems for rural and native villages in Alaska, two million for the Eastern Snake Plains aquifer pilot, one million for the National Sheep and Goat Industry Improvement Center, the list goes on. Although it does fail to explain how you could ever improve on sheep and goats.

PESCA: President Bush had vowed to veto the bill, and yesterday, he made good on that threat.

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PESCA: White House budget director Jim Nussle explains the president's opposition.

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Mr. JIM NUSSLE (Director, Office of Management and Budget, George W. Bush Administration): Congress sent us a bloated bill with too much spending, not enough reform, budget gimmicks and even more earmarks.

MARTIN: But hours after the president's veto, Congress was back in action. Many Republicans joined with Democrats, and the House voted 316 to 108 to override Mr. Bush's veto.

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MARTIN: The Senate was ready to follow suit when a startling discovery was made. Due to a quote, unquote, "clerical error," the bill that the president vetoed was missing 34 pages.

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PESCA: House majority leader Stanley Hoyer said the missing section was left out when the legislation was printed on parchment before being sent to Bush. I know the response to the question that you are thinking of right now. Yes, we still print bills on parchment. Why do I fear that a quill pen earmark is in the works?

MARTIN: Congressional leaders soon became worried that the foul-up would create constitutional concerns for the bill, so today they are sending the full version with the missing 34 pages back to the president.

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MARTIN: Just so he can veto it again.

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MARTIN: So they can override his veto again.

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PESCA: You can go to npr.org throughout the day for updates on this story. Now let's get some more of today's headlines with someone we never veto, the BPP's Mark Garrison.

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