June 10, 2013
The Senate has passed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that expands government subsidies for crop insurance, rice and peanuts while making small cuts to food stamps.
The bill passed on a bipartisan 66-27 vote. The legislation, which costs almost $100 billion annually, also would eliminate subsidies paid to farmers whether they farm or not. It would save about $2.4 billion a year on the food and nutrition programs, including across-the-board cuts that took effect earlier this year.
The bill also would set policy for programs to protect environmentally sensitive land, international food aid and several projects to help rural communities.
The Senate passed a similar farm bill last year. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday that his chamber will take up its version of the farm bill this month.