MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON
A $300 billion farm bill contains a little something for everyone, including tax breaks for Kentucky racehorse owners, extra help for farmers in Hawaii and Alaska, dollars for salmon farmers in the Pacific Northwest and more food stamps for the needy. Supporters of the bill are hoping that such goodies will bring in enough votes to send the White House a strong message when the House and Senate consider the bill's final version this week. President Bush has threatened to veto the five-year bill, saying it is too expensive and too generous to wealthy farmers. The House is expected to take up the politically popular, bipartisan legislation Wednesday and the Senate should follow by the end of the week, when current farm law expires. A two-thirds majority in both chambers a harder feat in the more urban House would neutralize the administration's threat. "My goal is to get over 300 vo t e s tomorrow, " House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said Tuesday. "We have the possibility of getting that done. Three-hundred votes seals the deal." Two-thirds of the massive bill would pay for the nation's nutrition programs, including food stamps. Most of the rest of the legislation would provide subsidies for farmers and conservation programs that protect the land. Also buried in the bill are incentives for various regions designed to garner votes. A tax break for horse owners was included by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Money for salmon farmers affected by the collapse of the salmon fishing season in Cal i fornia, Oregon and Washington was included by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif. Another provision would give extra money to "geographically disadvantaged farmers" in Alaska and Hawaii. T h e D e p a r t m e n t o f Agriculture sent out its own list of provisions that officials found deep within the 673-page conference report, which was released in its entirety Tuesday. The department highlighted provisions that they say would allow extra payments to tobacco growers and provide extra money for Nevada lakes and North Dakota wetlands.