Senate panel approves five-year farm bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday approved a new five-year farm bill over the objections of southern senators in a 16 to 5 final vote.

Southern Sens. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid Biden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe MORE (R-Miss.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid VA chief pressed on efforts to prevent veteran suicides McConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal MORE (R-Ark.), Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissThe Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks Hoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Republicans say Democrats holding up disaster relief as 'Sandy payback' MORE (R-Ga.) and Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ky.) voted against it. The rice and peanut lobbies strongly oppose the farm subsidy changes in the bill arguing that it leaves their producers without a safety net.

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Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenate panel clears controversial Trump court pick Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Harris proposes keeping schools open for 10 hours a day MORE (D-N.Y.) also voted against the bill after expressing concerns about cuts to food stamp funding in the legislation.

Overall the bill cuts $24.7 billion in funding over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It eliminates traditional direct payment farm subsidies and creates new crop insurance plans to reduce risk to farmers.


A Wednesday farm bill markup had been postponed at the last minute but the bill was back on track after changes to its energy section pushed by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Democratic aides say Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom Line Lobbying world Democrats aim to protect Grand Canyon from 'imminent' drilling threat MORE (D-Nev.) has committed to bringing the farm bill to the floor even if House leaders stall on it. The current farm bill runs out in September but opposition by fiscal conservatives in the House could stall action there.