House and Senate lawmakers are struggling to reach an agreement on the provisions that should be included in a farm bill to be presented to President Bush after Senate members proposed a package with only one tax-exempt bond provision that was opposed by key House lawmakers this week.

On Monday, Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. and ranking minority member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, offered a $2.5 billion agriculture tax package under ongoing conference negotiations to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills. The package contained only one bond-related provision. It would authorize $280 million of "aggie bonds," which are tax-exempt bonds that would be used by first-time ranchers and farmers to purchase land.

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