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Compromise Farm Bill Passes House -- Highly Likely to be Signed Into Law

Bill reduces proposed cuts to food stamps, which was major sticking point between Republicans and Democrats.
WASHINGTON, DC (Staff/Fox News) - The House has passed a compromise five-year farm bill that is also expected to pass in the Senate and be signed by President Obama.

The bill passed 251-166 after cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, also known as food stamps, were scaled back.  The bill which passed the House cuts the program by about $9 billion, or roughly 1%.  Some Republicans had sought cuts as much as 5% after the programs costs exploded during the Great Recession.  Many Democrats opposed any cuts to the program.

The $500 billion farm bill includes about $80 billion for SNAP.

Fox News reports that other issues that have delayed the bill include how much milk the federal government should buy to artificially sustain prices and pay producers, the size of cages in which chickens are raised and the cap for direct payments to farm families.  Congress failing to finish the bill by the end of last year raised the possibility the country could revert to 1949 law, which some agricultural economists predicting would increase the price of milk to $8 a gallon.
“I’m also pleased that my amendment to help improve the river transportation infrastructure was included in the Farm Bill that passed today.  This bill also provides for a stable and strong crop insurance program so our farmers, who are at the mercy of Mother Nature, can continue to grow the food our nation, and world, rely on.”

The bill was supported by both Stateline members of Congress, Cheri Bustos and Adam Kinzinger, and contains an amendment by Rep. Bustos (D) IL-17.  “I’m also pleased that my amendment to help improve the river transportation  infrastructure was included in the Farm Bill that passed today.  This bill  also provides for a stable and strong crop insurance program so our farmers, who  are at the mercy of Mother Nature, can continue to grow the food our nation, and  world, rely on,” she said in a news release. 

Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R) IL-16 said in a news release, “This long overdue legislation will allow growers and producers to plan ahead and make smarter decisions about future harvests, giving them more control over their businesses. It strengthens our farm safety net, helping farmers protect against natural disasters, and represents a big step forward for getting things done in Washington.”  He adds that the legislation repeals or consolidates over 100 programs at the Department of Agriculture while enhancing insurance programs that protect farmers against losses due to natural disasters -- and closes loopholes and reduces fraud the will result in $23 billion in taxpayer savings over ten years.
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