With a 68 to 32 bipartisan vote in the Senate on Tuesday, February 4th, Congress gave final approval to the massive farm bill. Senator William Thad Cochran, a Mississippi Republican, thanked his colleagues for working hard to do what Congress should do.
(as said)We have worked in a non-partisan, bi-partisan, collegial manner and across the Capitol dealing with the two conferees has been a pleasure and a challenge but I think it’s produced a product that we can all be proud of.
The trillion dollar, five-year Farm Bill sailed through the House last week. It was a bipartisan compromise leading to the first such measure in years. The last farm bill expired 490 days ago.
The measure not only pays for farm subsidies, it also funds food stamps. North Dakota Republican John Hoeven says those subsidies ensure the U-S enjoys the world’s highest quality food, at the lowest cost. Critics of the bill that has now passed both houses said the bill was laden with “pork”.
Senator Chuck Grassley voted against the bill. He says he’s extremely disappointed that his provisions to place a hard cap on farm payments and better define who can receive those payments were stripped down to such a great extent that they likely won’t have much effect. He says that currently 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers receive 70 percent of the benefit from the farm program. Grassley says that this puts small- and medium-sized farms and young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage. He says these are the very people the farm program is supposed to help.
Senator Tom Harkin voted for the bill. Congressman Steve King voted for the bill last week when it was approved by the House.
ABC News assisted with this story.
KIWA is an ABC News affiliate