The U.S. Senate is expected to conduct a cloture vote Thursday on the next farm bill. The vote would test the strength of the bill’s mostly Southern opponents and get the ball rolling on negotiations. Negotiations could take up most of June. The most controversial feature is a revamp of the crop subsidy system; 5-billion dollars annually in direct payments to farmers would be replaced with a bolstered federal crop insurance system and a new “shallow loss” program that pays farmers for sustained annual losses on what they grow. Southerners say the new system would hurt cotton and peanut farmers more than the wheat, corn and soybean farmers For urban America, the most controversial feature is a 23-billion dollar cut in food stamps during the next decade.
Stabenow Pushes Farm Bill For Everyone
As the Senate commenced debating the next farm bill on Wednesday,, the Chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, told the chamber – this bill affects every one of us. As well as the Farm Bill, she called it a Conservation Bill, a Food Bill, a Jobs Bill, and the Kitchen Table Bill. Stabenow said – it makes it possible for many families to come together around their own kitchen tables to enjoy the bounty of the world’s safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply.
Stabenow made sure the Senate knows that the farm bill affects the People doing the work it takes to put food on our kitchen tables, not just those on the farm but those who manufacture and sell farm equipment, ship the crops from one place to another, the people who have the farmers markets and local food hubs, people who work in food processing and crop protection and crop fertility, not to mention researchers and scientists who work hard every day to fight pests and diseases that threaten our food supply.
Source: NAFB News Service