WASHINGTON Congress enacted a massive farm bill Thursday with new and bigger subsidies for farmers, plus more food stamps for the poor.
But first Democrats had to eat a little crow that dimmed the election-year victory of overriding President Bush's veto for only the second time during his seven years in office.
Omitted from the $290 billion, five-year law because of a printing mistake was a small amount of money to address a growing global hunger crisis. Democrats only realized the mistake on Wednesday, just before the House voted 316-108 to override Bush's veto.
The Senate joined the override Thursday with an 82-13 vote. Eager to begin a Memorial Day vacation, Congress left the issue of helping starving countries for another day.
A chagrined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said her reaction was "uncustomarily crude" upon learning that the 34 pages dealing with international food aid and trade were omitted from the bill sent to Bush. "I take responsibility for what happened here," she said.
Republicans and the White House accused the Democrats of incompetence.
Congressional Republicans overwhelmingly abandoned Bush in voting to override the legislation, overlooking its cost amid public concern about the weak economy and high gasoline and grocery prices. GOP lawmakers are anxious about their own prospects less than six months before Election Day.