U.S. farm bill faces final vote Tuesday (+video)

U.S. farm bill has cleared its final hurdle in the senate, and final passage is expected as early as Tuesday. The $1 trillion farm bill trims food stamps for the poor, expands federal crop insurance, consolidates agricultural conservation programs and ends direct payments to farmers.

By , Reuters

  • close
    Larry Hasheider walks along one of his corn fields on his farm in Okawville, Ill. The massive farm bill heading toward final passage this week has broad implications for just about every American from the foods we eat to what we pay for them.
    View Caption

Long-delayed farm legislation easily cleared a procedural hurdle on Monday in the U.S. Senate, with final passage of the nearly $1 trillion U.S. farm bill expected as early as Tuesday.

The House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly passed the sweeping measure that trims food stamps for the poor, expands federal crop insurance, consolidates agricultural conservation programs and ends direct payments to farmers.

The 72-22 Senate vote in favor of advancing the bill suggests it should have no trouble passing the Democratic-led chamber when it comes up for a final vote, which could come on Tuesday.

Recommended: GMO, Organic, and seven other food labels you should know

The White House has said President Barack Obama would sign it into law.

"This is a new kind of farm bill designed to meet new challenges of a changing world," Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat and one of the four principal negotiators of the legislation, said on the Senate floor before the vote.

"We are also making major reforms, eliminating unnecessary, and unjustified programs to cut government spending and to increase the integrity of farm programs," she said.

The $956 billion legislation is expected to save about $16.6 billion over 10 years compared with current funding, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Using a different scoring, congressional leaders put the savings at $23 billion.

The bill, which is supposed to be passed every five years, is more than a year overdue after congressional negotiators struggled to forge a compromise.

About $8 billion in savings over 10 years comes from cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, which accounts for more than three-quarters of the bill's spending. The program provides funds to about 47 million low-income people to buy food.

The food stamp cut was well below the $40 billion reduction advocated by the Republican-led House, but still double the amount originally supported by the Senate.

Share this story:
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...