Farm bill heads to Obama’s desk
The farm bill is finally heading to President Obama’s desk.
The Senate passed the long-stalled farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68 to 32.
The House passed the lengthy, five-year legislation last week by a vote of 251-166.
Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.
“As with any compromise, the Farm Bill isn’t perfect — but on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America’s food, but for our nation,” Obama said in a statement after the bill’s passage.
The legislation is expected to cost $956 billion and cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — which represents the vast majority of spending (about $756 billion) in the legislation — by $8 billion over ten years or about one percent.
“It’s been a long road, with many challenges. I’m very proud that we maintained strong bipartisanship throughout this entire process,” Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture said. “In the end, Congress came together to support 16 million American jobs, save taxpayers billions and implement the most significant reforms to agriculture programs in decades.”
The bill was the subject of a much criticism from conservatives who said that the cuts to SNAP were not great enough and there was not enough reforms to farm subsidies.
“This Farm Bill is a monument to every dysfunction Washington indulges to bend our politics and twist our economy to benefit itself at the expense of the American people,” Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee said, going on to add that the legislation represents a “collusion between both parties against the American people; it benefits the special interests at the expense of the national interest.”
The legislation also was hit from the left by lawmakers and organizations opposing cuts to the nutrition assistance program.