WASHINGTON (AP) — After two years of deadlock, Congress has finally approved a sweeping farm bill.
The Senate passed the bill 68-32 after House passage last week. The $100 billion-a-year measure now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. He'll sign it on Friday in Michigan, the home state of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. The bill provides a financial cushion for farmers who face unpredictable weather and market conditions. It also provides subsidies for rural communities and environmentally-sensitive land. Recipients include Southern peanut growers, Midwest corn farmers and the maple syrup industry in the Northeast. The nation's 47 million food stamp recipients will also be covered. The overall cost of the program will be cut by $800 million a year, or around 1 percent. That's a compromise. House Republicans pushed through a bill in September that would have made a cut to food stamps that was five times more than the eventual cut.