In a 75-22 vote, the Senate has agreed to end the debate and move ahead on the five-year farm bill.
Farmers are one step closer to having a new farm bill in place. Today, the Senate voted to end discussion on the farm bill and proceed to a final vote. The decision passed by a vote of 75-22.
The farm bill has been under consideration by the Senate since last May. If passed, it would cost almost $100 billion annually and would set policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The Senate passed the farm bill last year, but the House stopped it from being enacted.
Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has been pushing for a speeding approval of the farm bill. Ahead of the Senate vote, Stabenow told colleagues that the farm bill affects 16 million jobs. "That’s how many people depend on agriculture and the food industries for their jobs."
Agricultural groups, such as the National Corn Growers Association, are pleased by the Senate’s cloture vote.
"The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to see the cloture vote on the farm bill received 75 votes, well over the 60 votes necessary to move the legislation forward," says NCGA President Pam Johnson. "However, there is still important work that needs to be done. We urge the Senate to quickly take action and vote to pass the legislation."
The National Milk Producers Federation also praised the Senate’s decision.
The Senate deserves the sincere thanks of dairy farmers nationwide for its overwhelming majority vote today to end debate on the 2013 Farm Bill," says Jerry Kozak, President and CEO, NMPF. "The decision to invoke cloture clears the way for approval of a much-needed reform of the federal dairy program when the Senate votes on final passage of the Farm Bill expected early next week.
He says dairy farmers have been waiting two years for Congress to approve the new dairy program. "Thanks to today’s vote, they can look forward to the end of price supports and other Depression-era programs and the launch of a new plan that will insure them against losses when profit margins shrink to dangerous levels. This fight is not over, but a brighter future is in sight."
NCGA and NMPF were two of the 120 farm and conservation groups that sent a letter to all senators yesterday urging them to vote for cloture on the farm bill. Read the letter.
For More Information
Read the latest news and policy decisions concerning this year's farm bill.