The Senate has voted to move forward on a new five-year farm bill.
Sen. Mike Johanns voted to end debate on the bill and take a step towards passage of the legislation which would eliminate some subsidies paid to farmers as well as making a cut to food stamps -- a $400 million a year cut out of the program's almost $80 billion annual cost.
The decision to vote ended the debate that has raged all week as Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on the more than 150 amendments to the bill.
"Farmers and ranchers need the long-term certainty only a
farm bill can provide," Johanns said. "Congress has drug its feet for too long.
While this is not the bill I would have written, I believe – warts and all – it
is better than no farm bill and significantly better than the bill passed by
the House Ag Committee."
The measure passed along bipartisan lines in a 75-22 vote.