Senate approves five-year farm bill, sending it to Obama
By Derrick Cain
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 - The Senate approved today, on a 68-32 vote, a five-year farm bill (H.R. 2642), sending the sweeping legislation to President Obama for his expected signature.
The nearly $1 trillion Agriculture Act of 2014 will scrap direct payments in favor of enhanced crop insurance, revise commodity supports, create a new dairy program, and make several other changes to agricultural policy, including an approximate $8 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through a reduction of fraud and misuse.
Forty-four Democrats were joined by 22 Republicans and two Independents to support the legislation, while 23 Republicans and, notably, nine Democrats voted against the bill. The roll call vote can be viewed here.
Further, the bill seeks to significantly increase support for fruits and vegetables and local food systems. It also would authorize large investments in land and water conservation.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbi Stabenow, D-Mich., said the legislation is “really 12 difference pieces of legislation from farm to research to fruits and vegetables to energy across the board all put together in something we call the farm bill.”
“This, most importantly, is a major bipartisan jobs bill that makes sure that 16 million people who work in agriculture from Michigan to Mississippi to Oklahoma and everywhere in between have the support they need,” Stabenow said.
The House approved the bill last Wednesday with a 251-166 vote.
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