Senate Passes Farm Bill 05 Feb 14

The U.S. Senate Tuesday afternoon passed a new five-year Farm Bill which now goes to President Obama for his signature. 

MNN reports Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken both voted “yes”, as did Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, North Dakota Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven, South Dakota Senators John Thune and Tim Johnson, and Wisconsin Senator Amy Baldwin.Iowa’s Chuck Grassley andWisconsin’s on Johnson voted “no” on the Farm Bill.

Renewable energy incentives authored by Senator Al Franken were included in the final package.

The new Farm Bill basically ends direct payments to farmers but beefs up crop insurance. The sugar program is preserved.

Franken says there are some cuts in conservation funding, but a farmer must participate in those programs if they receive help with crop insurance. 

President Barack Obama made this statement following Senate passage:

Today, in a strong bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate came together to pass a comprehensive Farm Bill – legislation that will build on the historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, create new jobs and opportunities, and protect the most vulnerable Americans.  This bill provides certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers, and contains a variety of commonsense reforms that my Administration has consistently called for, including reforming and eliminating direct farm subsidies and providing assistance for farmers when they need it most.  It will continue reducing our deficits without gutting the vital assistance programs millions of hardworking Americans count on to help put food on the table for their families.  And it will support conservation of valuable lands, spur the development of renewable energy, and incentivize healthier nutrition for all Americans.   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.