The Clarion-Ledger, 5/16/8

Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker joined most of their GOP colleagues on Thursday in voting for a massive farm bill that has drawn a veto threat from President Bush.

The bill would safeguard the federal cotton program, which was under attack by groups that wanted to cut subsidies.

But it would make some changes, including lowering the price support on cotton from 72.4 cents to 71.25 cents a pound and tightening eligibility requirements.

The five-year bill would also establish a new inspection program for imported and homegrown catfish that would require overseas processors to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. And it would boost funding for a natural products research program at the University of Mississippi.