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New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

House and Senate negotiators agreed on Monday on a new five-year farm bill.
House and Senate negotiators agreed on Monday on a new five-year farm bill.

The bill is expected to save an estimated 24 billion dollars over the next ten years. The bi-partisan compromise, two years after lawmakers started working on it, eliminates or consolidates many agriculture subsidy programs.

The largest cut of 19 billion dollars comes from farm subsidy programs including the end of a direct-payment program for farmers.

The bill preserves the supplemental nutrition assistance program, known as food stamps, for most Americans, but cuts the benefits by about nine billion dollars over a decade largely by closing a loophole. It's well below the 40 billion dollars house republicans wanted to eliminate.

The measure continues to heavily subsidize major crops like corn, wheat and rice. It also overhauls dairy policy including the creation a new insurance program for dairy farmers.

The house will likely vote on the legislation on Wednesday. It's not clear when the senate will take up the measure.
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