The U.S. Senate has just passed the House-Senate Farm Bill agreement in a vote of 68 to 32. Following U.S. House approval of the bill last week, the measure now goes to President Barak Obama. The White House says the president will sign the five-year farm bill at Michigan State University this Friday.
American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser, an Iowa farmer, says the commodity group is “relieved and pleased to see the farm bill cross the finish line this afternoon.” The ASA and other farm groups are asking the president to quickly sign the legislation.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), in a statement, said, “Many people said this would never happen in this environment, but Congress has come together to pass a major bipartisan jobs bill. Congress has also passed a major reform and deficit reduction bill. Both bills are the 2014 Farm Bill,” adding, “This effort proves that by working across party lines, we can save taxpayer money and create smart policies that lay the foundation for a stronger economy.”
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) said, “I am pleased the Senate passed the conference report and put us another step closer to enacting a new farm bill. I commend Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran on their efforts throughout this process. We worked together to give certainty and sound policy to our agricultural producers; deliver taxpayers billions of dollars in savings; and provide consumers the affordable and reliable food supply they have grown accustomed to.”
In a statement released from the White House, President Obama praised the passage of the Farm Bill, “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.”