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Hoosier Senators To Support New Farm Bill

Last updated on Tuesday, February 4, 2014

(UNDATED) - Both Indiana’s U.S. senators say they’ll vote for a new farm bill.

Congress has been stalemated on a new five-year bill for the last year, but the House last week passed a bipartisan compromise which trims spending by 16-billion dollars, half of that through reforms in the food-stamp program. The bill ends direct payments to farmers while increasing funding for crop insurance.

Republican Senator Dan Coats and Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly both call the bill "imperfect."

Coats says he had hoped for more savings, and would have preferred to sever the 50-year link between the farm bill and food stamps, as House Republicans had proposed. But Coats says it's the first farm bill in years that actually reduces spending. And he and Donnelly both say farmers need the certainty of having a new bill in place.

The House approved the measure 251-166, with all Indiana's representatives supporting it except Pete Visclosky (D-1st) and Marlin Stutzman (R-3rd). Senate passage will send the bill to President Obama for his signature.

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