Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Impasse Firm on Farm Bill

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Impasse Firm on Farm Bill

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Congressional agreement on a stalled farm bill seemed increasingly out of reach Wednesday, as a few hundred farmers gathered near the Capitol to press for its passage.

They were greeted by an unusually bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing for action in the House, where Republican leaders have declined to pursue legislation.

"Americans want us to work together to get it done for rural America," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said to the farmers' cheers.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chided members of his own party in the House for refusing to bring their own committee's farm bill to the floor.

This summer, the Senate passed a five-year farm bill with bipartisan support, and the House Agriculture Committee came up with a similar bill with deeper cuts. But House leaders declined to take up either version of the legislation. They are not eager to force their members take a vote that would be difficult for some of them, nor would they wish to pass a measure largely with Democrats' votes right before an election.

Anti-terror law ruled out

NEW YORK -- An anti-terrorism law was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge who said she saw legitimate fears in claims by journalists, scholars and political activists that they could face indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said the government has softened its position toward the journalists, writers and activists who filed a lawsuit against it, but she said the "shifting view" was not enough to erase the threat that people could face indefinite military detention for using their Constitutional rights.

The law subjects to indefinite detention anyone who "substantially" or "directly" provides "support" to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban.

Gulf Coast aid appeal

WASHINGTON -- A five-state coalition, warning that decades of damage inflicted by man and nature could take a $350 billion toll, called Wednesday on the White House and Congress to make an urgent commitment of massive, long-term aid to protect the battered Gulf Coast, its fragile ecosystem and its oil, seafood, shipping and tourism industries. …

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