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Senate Passes Farm Bill

Posted on 6/22/2012

The Senate yesterday passed by a 64-35 vote its version of the 2012 Farm Bill (S. 3240). The five-year reauthorization legislation is projected to cut nearly $24 billion from farm program spending, and trim nutritional program funding by $4 billion.

A floor amendment offered by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was adopted in the final bill, which would place an income test on the Federal Crop Insurance Program for the first time. However, the amendment was modified to require the secretary of agriculture to conduct a study, with Government Accountability Office assistance, to determine if an income means test would harm farmers or the crop insurance program. The Durbin-Coburn amendment goes into effect with the 2014 crop insurance year, and would reduce crop-insurance premium support by 15 percent for any farmer who has an adjusted gross income of more than $750,000.

The legislative process now shifts to the House Agriculture Committee, which will begin considering its version of the Farm Bill on July 11, according to panel Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.).




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