The full Senate voted in support of continuing 2012 farm bill consideration today. The vote passed 90-8 in favor of proceeding.
"This bill represents commonsense and responsible reforms that will save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars while strengthening key initiatives that will allow our economy to continue growing and creating jobs," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), chair of the Senate Ag Committee.
Stabenow said the bill has support from hundereds of agricullture and food organizations. She encouraged her fellow senators to pass the bill immediatly considering the 2008 farm bill is due to expire in September.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranking member of the committee, co-authored the bill with Stabenow, pledging to do right by farmers. He said the bill serves taxpayers while strengthening programs important to the life of rural America and the agriculture community.
"We’ve cut mandatory spending by $23.6 billion. We’ve reformed, eliminated and streamlined USDA programs to the tune of more than 100 programs and authorizations eliminated. We’ve done it on a voluntary basis and in a bipartisan fashion," Roberts said. "Simply put, this bill is commonsense reform and needs to be approved now to provide certainty for our farmers and ranchers to make planning decisions and to help our economic recovery."
This bill consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13 initiaves, ends four subsidy programs including direct payments, and is said to strengthen risk management during volatile times through market-based tools.
The "Jobs" bill, as dubbed by Stabenow, is credited with preserving jobs for Americans through reform.
"Sixteen million American jobs rely on agriculture. The time for reform is now," Stabenow said.