Senate Passes Farm Bill
The final vote was 68-32 as the Senate passed the nearly $1 trillion Agricultural Act of 2014, or farm bill. It now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature. Before the final vote Washington Senator Maria Cantwell addressed the Senate.
CANTWELL: I rise today to talk about the importance of the farm bill because it is a jobs bill for our nation. Two years ago I joined my colleague Senator Johanns from Nebraska and sent a bi-partisan letter with 44 Senators saying it was time to act on the farm bill because we thought it was so important for our economy as we were still struggling - coming out of a recession.
Last week the House passed the bill even though it was a far cry from what they wanted to see as far as cuts in various programs including the nutrition part of the bill. Many legislators have said that it is a compromise bill. In a statement released immediately after the vote the President said, quote: "As with any compromise, the Farm Bill isn't perfect – but on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America's food, but for our nation."
Not everyone was in favor of the bill including Chuck Grassley from Iowa even though it is a major farm state.
GRASSLEY: I come to the floor for the third time to express my opposition to the farm bill, obviously not in its total, but certain provisions of it particularly provisions that I had a hand in writing.
Grassley said that some of his colleagues have approached him due to some confusion as to whether the payment limits provisions were even in this bill.
GRASSLEY: I'm here to set the record straight with facts that they don't accomplish what I tried to accomplish and they're even much more liberal than any existing law.
So the question becomes; is this a good farm bill or not? The President had said that he would sign it if the Senate passed it and at least there is a farm bill in place. But there are still a great deal of questions looming over things like country of origin labeling and the nutrition aspect. Many legislators are saying that in another five years that the farm bill and the nutrition bill will become separate legislation similar to what the House tried to do some months back. Many farm groups are not happy with this compromise bill and feel that Congress just wanted to get the bill done and off the table. What are your thoughts? Love to hear them.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.