Farm Bill: Senate Overview
Ron Nixon reported in today’s New York Times that, “The Senate approved a sweeping new farm bill on Thursday that would cost nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years, financing dozens of price support and crop insurance programs for farmers and food assistance for low-income families.
“The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 64 to 35. It now goes to the House, where it faces a much tougher road because conservative lawmakers want to make deeper cuts in the food stamp program, which serves about 45 million Americans. ‘This bill represents significant reform,’ said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. ‘It cuts subsidies, it cuts the deficit and it creates jobs.’
“Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas and the ranking member on the committee, called the legislation the best bill possible. ‘It shows what can happen if we break the logjam of partisanship and work together to get something done,’ Mr. Roberts said.”
Mr. Nixon indicated that, “In the House, the chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Representative Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma, said work on the bill would begin on July 11. He said committee members would work on a spending bill next week. Congress will recess for the July 4 holiday week.
“‘Although there will be differences between the Senate approach and our own, I hope my colleagues are encouraged by this success when we meet on the 11th to consider our own legislation,’ Mr. Lucas said.”