Farm Bill passes house, Senate still has to agree - KOTA Territory News

Farm Bill passes house, Senate still has to agree

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By Jack Siebold, MyTown Editor

Better late than never.  The massive trillion-dollar Farm Bill is finally nudged out of the House on a 251 to 156 vote; and headed for the Senate with a possible vote within a week.

"Now is the time to bring the Farm Bill home," said Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota).  "This bill makes more reforms than we've seen in decades.  It saves billions, conserves wildlife habitats, and perhaps most importantly, provides a viable safety net for those who grow our food while ensuring those who rely on food assistance have access to it.  Noem is a member of the conference committee that negotiated the 2014 Farm Bill.

See Farm Bill nears House vote for details on how it impacts South Dakota

Depending upon where you sit at the dinner table, the new Farm Bill has good and bad news.  The good news is that it will help South Dakota agriculture producers hit hard by the October 2013 blizzard and the earlier drought.  "We now have the opportunity to offer relief and certainty to those ranchers who lost so much, to all producers and to the consumers who rely on a safe and affordable food supply," Noem said.

The bill also cuts about $800 million out of the federal food stamp programs, with is about 1 percent of the $80 billion program.  Those cuts are too deep for some, not deep enough for others.  It also eliminates $4.5 billion in subsidies for farmers.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the 2014 Farm Bill saves about $1.65 billion a year.

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