When Push Comes to Shove

Congress passes "budget-busting" aid for farmers

The farm lobbyists who besieged Capitol Hill offices and the grain-belt Senators who staged a protest near the White House won their battle last week. The Republican-controlled Senate buckled under the pressure and joined the Democrat-controlled House in passing expensive credit-relief packages for farmers. Reagan aides, calling the fight a "sign of things to come," predicted a presidential veto. Said White House Spokesman Larry Speakes: "The President is going to have his pencil sharp as far as any budget-busting bill is concerned."

The drama was played against a background chorus of anguish from farmers. Rural politicians, representatives of agriculture organizations and...

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