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Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill

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AGRICULTURE

Senate Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill

Mammoth measure clears hurdle 16 to 5 with long road ahead

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In this June 16, 2011 photo, farm workers load a truck with cucumbers on a farm in Leslie, Ga. Just weeks after Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed one of the toughest laws in the country cracking down on illegal immigration, the Republican conservative said probation workers could take the jobs of illegal immigrants whom farmers say are no longer showing up for work for fear they could be deported.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday passed a five-year farm bill by a vote of 16 to 5.

Senators on both sides of the aisle praised the bipartisan bill, which the CBO says will shave $24.7 billion from the deficit.

 

“We examined every program in the farm bill, and we reformed, streamlined, and consolidated to get perhaps the most significant reforms in agricultural policy of any farm bill in recent memory,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the committee chairman.

Not everyone involved was supportive of the bill. The four senators from the South on the committee, Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and John Boozman, R-Ark., voted against the legislation, as did Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who objected to the cuts in nutrition programs.

“The farm bill in front of us attempts to shoehorn all producers into a one-size-fits-all policy,” Chambliss said. “Producer choice is a better course to follow and I regret the commodity title does not recognize its power.”

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has indicated he will take up the measure soon. 

 

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