The Senate approved a sweeping new farm bill on Monday that will cost nearly $955 billion over the next 10 years, the first step in a renewed attempt at passing legislation that will set the country’s food and agriculture programs and policy.
The bill, which finances programs as diverse as crop insurance for farmers, food assistance for low-income families and foreign food aid, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 66 to 27. The Senate passed a similar bill last year, but the House failed to bring its bill to a vote. The last farm bill that was passed by both chambers, in 2008, was extended until Sept. 30.
“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,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan and chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She was a co-author of the bill with Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the committee.