We all learned how a Bill becomes a Law. The House and Senate pass an identical piece of legislation and the President either signs it or vetoes it. What happens when the Congress approves a bill, but 34 pages of it
aren't included when it gets sent to the White House and is vetoed?
Welcome to the 2008 Farm Bill.
Democratic leaders were chagrined to say the least when word leaked out that the Farm Bill vetoed by President Bush wasn't the same bill that the Congress approved.
It was a "clerical" error.
All of this came to light after the House had voted Wednesday to override the President's veto and the Senate was poised to do the same.
"I understand that mistakes do happen," said a puzzled House GOP Leader John Boehner.
"We voted to override a bill that had never been considered by the House and Senate," Boehner told Democrats on the floor. And I don't know how that is constitutional."
Think about it. With 34 pages of legislative text missing, President Bush vetoed a bill that actually had not been approved by the Congress.
Which raises the questions, when is a veto not really a veto?
A White House spokesman said they had not found a "precedent for a Congressional blunder of this magnitude."
So, instead of the news being about the Congress overriding President Bush's farm bill veto, the story is about the Legislative Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
(You know there are some staffers somewhere who are gobbling Rolaids this morning, knowing that they proof-read the bill and didn't miss the missing 34 pages from Title III.)
Democrats will try again to pass the entire Farm Bill today, but something tells me that may run into some procedural troubles in the Senate. We'll see.