Food Stamps Slashed as Congress Approves Farm Bill

Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 03:55 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Congress passed a massive, long-overdue bill Tuesday that overhauls agriculture policy, including halting direct payments to farmers.

The five-year $956.4 billion measure, which also reforms the food stamp program for the poor to save $8 billion, marks a rare point of cooperation among bitterly divided lawmakers.

It passed the Senate 68-32, with broad bipartisan support after easily clearing the House of Representatives last week.

President Barack Obama the bill, saying it "isn't perfect — but on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America's food, but for our nation."

Obama is expected to sign it into law, ending a nearly three-year battle over agriculture policy.

"We've arrived at a farm bill that works for all of America," a relieved Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the Democratic chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee who helped broker the deal with House Republicans, said moments before the vote.

She called the legislation "a major bipartisan jobs bill" that helps expand US food exports, broaden conservation efforts that safeguard US lands and water resources, mitigate rancher and farmer risks, and ensure a safety net for millions of needy families.

Among its key provisions is the abolition of a decades old program that pays billions of dollars per year in subsidies directly to farmers, regardless of whether or not they suffer crop losses or even plant crops.

Most of the savings from scrapping that controversial program will now go directly into a new crop insurance program.

The bill slashes some $23 billion from the national debt, but some congressional conservatives opposed the measure for not cutting enough.

Several liberals also opposed the bill, arguing the cuts to the food stamp program — which would reduce aid to some 850,000 families, according to government estimates — went too deep.

But the compromise signaled that lawmakers could still come to the table and thrash out a deal, despite Congress's reputation as a broken body.

"The partisanship in Congress has been deeply frustrating, but this farm bill has been a bright light," Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota said.

© AFP 2014

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Cowboy Poet Waddie Mitchell Pens 'Call to All' on Nevada Ranch Standoff

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 12:52 PM

A week after a tense standoff between gun-toting states' rights advocates and federal Bureau of Land Management police,  . . .

Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter Dies at 76

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 11:26 AM

Rubin Hurricane Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, . . .

Boston Marathon Defies Terror Attacks One Year On

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 10:53 AM

The Boston Marathon returns Monday under a major security crackdown after last year's deadly bombings as a near record 3 . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved