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SCOTT JAGOW: The first order of business in Congress this week will be to approve $95 billion in emergency spending. The funding is for Iraq and hurricane cleanup on the Gulf coast. Lawmakers somehow kept a lid the amount of money in the final bill and that could mean the death of some pet projects. John Dimsdale reports.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Deficit hawks called the bill a budget buster after Senators tacked on an additional $14 billion for programs from border enhancement to port security to farm assistance. Almost all of the extra spending was dropped in the final compromise.
To keep the bill within the limits set by the White House, negotiators cut nearly $3.5 billion for farmers hit by disasters last year.
DANA BROOKS: There was over 2,000 head of cattle lost due to wildfires in Texas alone.
Dana Brooks, with the American Farm Bureau Federation says agriculture damages from hurricanes are still covered by the bill, but not losses from droughts, fires and floods in other parts of the country.
BROOKS: Only probably a little over 200 counties will qualify for disaster.
Farmers say they’ll be back to ask for additional disaster assistance in next year’s budget.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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