In a 66-27 vote, the U.S. Senate on Monday approved a bipartisan Farm Bill – the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, and Ranking Member Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) authored the bill that is to save taxpayers more than $24 billion.
It eliminates direct payments, transitioning to responsible risk management tools for farmers, and consolidates programs to end duplication. Fraud and misuse in nutrition programs are also addressed.
“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,” Stabenow says. “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.”
“I look forward to continuing to work in a collaborative and bipartisan way to see that this reform bill is signed into law,” she adds. “There can be no more kicking the can down the road – it’s time for Congress to finish its work on the Farm Bill.”
The Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 can be viewed on the Senate Agriculture Committee website.