Farm Bill deal blossoming in Congress
House and Senate negotiators agreed Monday on a new five-year Farm Bill. The bill is expected to be taken up for a vote by the house as soon as Wednesday.
The proposed Farm Bill is expected to save an estimated 24 billion dollars over the next ten years.
It's a bipartisan compromise that eliminates or consolidates many agriculture subsidy programs.
The bill preserves food stamps for most Americans, but cuts the benefits by about nine billion dollars over a decade, largely by closing a loophole. That number is well below the 40 billion dollars House republicans wanted to eliminate.
The measure continues to heavily subsidize major crops like corn, wheat and rice.
Senator Debbie Stabenow said it's a step in the right direction for the state.
â??It's great for Michigan,â?? said Stabenow. â??One out of four people in Michigan work because of agriculture or the food industry. We make major reforms that eliminate things that don't work and strengthen things that do, like crop insurance, disaster assistance support for things our cherry growers and others who've had weather related disasters.â??
The measure will immediately be brought before the Senate if the House approves the bill. Stabenow said she's confident the votes are in the Senate.