Cochran opposes farm bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a five-year, half trillion-dollar farm bill on Thursday that would cut spending by $25 billion, slashing subsidy payments in favor of new crop insurance programs despite opposition from Southern lawmakers concerned it would hurt growers in their region.

The approval by a 16-5 vote marks the start of a daunting challenge for lawmakers to implement new farm legislation before the current law expires on Sept. 30.

Hurdles include the politics of the November election, pressure to reduce deficits and the need to iron out differences with the House, which has floated cuts of as much as $33 billion – including a larger reduction in spending for food stamps. The House has not established a timetable for when it might act on its version of the bill.

Clarion Ledger