WASHINGTON, D.C.: Farm aid bill larger than Bush is seeking
Defying the White House, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee is proposing to give farmers $6.5 billion in special assistance this year, $1 billion more than the limit set by President Bush's budget chief.
Legislation that Rep. Larry Combest, R-Tex., will ask the panel to approve today would provide $5.5 billion in payments to grain and cotton growers and another $1 billion divided among producers of everything from prunes to wool and tobacco.
In a letter to the committee last week, White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels said he would recommend President Bush "not sign a bill providing more than $5.5 billion in additional assistance" for this year's crops.
California: $5 billion needed for energy purchases
California will borrow up to $5 billion from Wall Street to keep its lights on in coming months, state treasurer Phil Angelides said Tuesday.
Angelides called the loan a short-term strategy to buy power until the state sells up to $13.4 billion in bonds this fall. Those bonds will pay off both the short-term loan announced Tuesday and about $8 billion the state has spent for power since January.
Customers of the state's three major embattled utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric, will pay off this fall's loan by charging more for electricity.
WASHINGTON, D.c.: Toy race car recalled
A California toy company is recalling about 4,300 remote-control race cars nationwide because they can overheat and pose a fire hazard. Equity Marketing Inc., based in Los Angeles, recalled the toys Tuesday after three reports that the cars were smoking, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The remote control cars are black with the number "28" printed in red on the doors and roof. A Texaco logo is printed on the hood of the cars, which are about 8 inches long.
Participating Texaco gas stations nationwide sold the cars under the "Need For Speed" promotion through June 1 for about $12 with any $10 purchase. Consumers with questions can call Equity Marketing Inc. at (888) 747-4355.