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Senate to Vote on U.S. Farm Bill

By Amanda Brodhagen,

The U.S. Senate will be voting on the nearly $1 trillion five-year 2014 farm bill this afternoon. If the Senate passes the farm legislation (it requires 60 votes for passage), then President Obama is expected to sign it into law. Congress has been in partisan gridlock for the past two years to pass an agreement on the food and farm legislation.

Last week, the House approved the bill, in a 251 to 166 vote. The bill ends direct payments for farmers, while expanding crop insurance. Is also offers livestock disaster assistance and a new program for dairy farmers. The bill also cuts about $8 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

Most of the U.S. farm groups support the farm bill, with the exception of livestock groups who strongly oppose the wording of the country-of-origin meat labeling rule. The bill is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

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