House again rejects timber payments

WASHINGTON — For the second time this week, the House has rejected a Senate-backed measure to extend a multiyear program of payments to rural counties hurt by federal logging cutbacks.

Democratic leaders rejected an attempt by Oregon lawmakers to add the measure to a package of tax breaks approved today.

Republican Representative Greg Walden of Oregon twice tried to add it.

But he and Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio have been blocked at every turn by Democratic leaders.

Walden says they are "pushing rural counties off a cliff."

He notes that the Senate has approved a four-year extension of the program, and President Bush has said he will sign the legislation.

Walden says he will try again with another bill later today.

— The Associated Press

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