Nation & World News

Congress Sends 5-Year Farm Bill To White House

By Bill Chappell on February 4th, 2014

With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.

The provisions in the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 bear signs of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, on issues ranging from food aid programs to budget cuts.

The bill represents hundreds of billions of dollars; it’s now headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. The Congressional Budget Office breaks the costs of the bill down:

“CBO estimates that direct spending stemming from the programs authorized by the conference agreement would total $956 billion over the 2014-2023 period, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs. Relative to spending and revenues projected under CBO’s May 2013 baseline, CBO estimates that enacting the conference agreement would lower budget deficits by $16.6 billion over that 10-year period.”

And here’s some background from a Morning Edition story by NPR’s Ailsa Chang:

“The farm bill started out as a way to help farmers who were hurting after the Great Depression. But it’s become one of those mammoth bills in Congress crammed with things that in many cases have very little to do with each other. Food stamps, dairy policies, Christmas tree feeds. Republican John McCain of Arizona pored through some of the bill’s 900 pages, or had his staff do that, and found what he called straight-up handouts, like $12 million to study and promote wool.”

McCain also complained about “$15 million earmarked for an office that would inspect catfish,” Ailsa says. And she notes that critics of the bill also say its use of crop insurance could be prone to the same problems that have been found in the direct payment system.

As we reported last week, the new bipartisan bill ends months and months of debate.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

The news comes as troops pull out of Afghanistan and begin a new offensive against the Islamic State. “Hagel was not seen as a very forceful secretary of defense,” NPR’s Tom Bowman says.


With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

The two sides have been trying to hammer out a historic accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programs, but with less than 24 hours before a self-imposed deadline, there is still no news of a deal.


After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

Unlike Charlie Brown, the residents of Reading didn’t see beauty in a 50-foot spruce with few branches and an unseemly shape.


Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

The fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling a number of health issues. He was 78.


Ferguson Grand Jury Will Reportedly Meet Again Monday

A community is holding its breath, awaiting a decision on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Brown’s family is calling for calm.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments