Nearly trillion dollar farm bill goes to White House

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (ABC)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (ABC)

The U. S. Senate has approved the $956.4 billion farm bill, and it now goes to the President for his signature.

The bill will cost almost a trillion dollars over ten years. It cuts about $8 billion from the food stamp program, and ends direct cash subsidies to some farmers. But it does expand aid to community food banks.

The legislation also creates a new crop insurance program to protect growers from catastrophic losses.

It also expands water and soil conservation measures, which won the legislation support from many environmental groups.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, former chairman and former ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, voted for final passage of the bill.

The Senate approved the five-year bill by a vote of 68-32. This is Chambliss' fourth and final farm bill as a member of Congress.

"I am pleased to support the 2014 Farm Bill which reforms critical farm programs, strengthens the nation's food security, protects the livelihood of our farmers and ranchers, and preserves our efforts to remain good stewards of the environment. This bill embodies the promise of reform while achieving savings to contribute to lowering our debt and deficit.

"I am truly pleased with the options this bill offers to protect producers in times of need, while supporting our nation's long-term economic and food security. I am also pleased with the language in this bill that re-links conservation compliance to crop insurance as well as streamlines and strengthens conservation programs to protect land, water, and wildlife for future generations," Chambliss said.

"This is my fourth and final farm bill as a member of Congress. As a former chairman and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am proud of this bill and previous farm bills I have had the privilege to be a part of. I believe this legislation is vitally important to the farmers, ranchers and consumers of Georgia, as well as those across this great nation, and there is no single piece of legislation that impacts as many people in my state as this one.

"It has been my distinct honor to represent and work with the farmers and ranchers in Georgia for 20 years. You provide the highest quality food, feed, and fiber in the world. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you in Congress and to be a member of what I think is an outstanding Agriculture Committee."

President Obama is expected to sign the bill.

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