Senate passes farm bill - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Senate passes farm bill

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (02/04/2013) - After years of arguing and roller coaster negotiations, a new farm bill finally cleared Congress Tuesday afternoon.

"Good afternoon – it's done," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, of the passage of the farm bill during a press conference directly after the Senate vote. "It's not your father's farm bill."

The Senate followed the House of Representatives lead in passing the new five-year bill.  
In a 68 to 32 decision, the Senate approved the $1 trillion bill, which cuts funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by nearly$ 8.5 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Nearly one in seven Americans use the benefits, commonly known as food stamps. That's about 47 million people across the country.

Stabenow led a news conference after the Senate vote saying this was a bi-partisan effort, and the country will benefit from it.

The bill also heads off a potential spike in milk prices and ends direct payments to farmers, but does give farmers insurance options.

It is expected to save nearly $17 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Democratic senators said this bill was hard fought and they are relieved with its passage. And President Obama has already he said he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

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