The Senate passed S. 954, the “Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013,” by a strong bipartisan vote of 66-29. The bill is estimated to save $24 billion through the elimination of nearly 100 federal programs, limiting payments to producers and consolidating 23 conservation programs into 13 programs.
Significant budget cuts included: elimination of direct payments for $16 billion in savings; cuts nutrition programs by $4 billion; and conservation programs are consolidated to save approximately $5.6 billion. There are increases in some programs. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “The Senate today voted to support 16 million American jobs, to save taxpayers billions and to implement the most significant reforms to agriculture programs in decades. By eliminating duplication and streamlining programs, we were able to save $24 billion while strengthening initiatives that help farmers and small businesses reach new markets. This bill proves that by working across party lines, we can save taxpayer money and create smart policies that lay the foundation for a stronger economy.” The House of Representatives is expected to consider the farm bill this week.
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