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Senate Rejects Ag Disaster Aid

The Senate voted 57-37 for a $4.8 billion ag disaster package, coming up shy of the 60 votes needed.

The $4.8 billion farm disaster aid package, aimed at helping U.S. farmers and ranchers suffering losses from drought and other natural disasters, came up three votes short in the Senate Tuesday.

Senators voted 57-37 in favor, but the package needed 60 votes to exempt it from spending limits.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and other supporters of the bill say they will try again in the Democrat-controlled congress of 2007. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., says he will try to attach the aid package to a government spending bill late this winter.

Budget Committee chairman Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., was a vocal opponent of the bill, saying it would give money to producers who did not need it and lacked some provisions to make sure the right people received aid. Bush has threatened to veto the farm disaster aid package.

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