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Published June 06, 2013, 09:56 AM

Senate ends farm bill debate, sets final passage vote for June 10

Today, the Senate invoked cloture on the farm bill, effectively setting it up for a vote on final passage on June 10.

By: Agweek Staff Report, Agweek

Today, the Senate invoked cloture on the farm bill, effectively setting it up for a vote on final passage on June 10. Today's vote on invoking cloture was 75-22.

“The Senate deserves the sincere thanks of dairy farmers nationwide for its overwhelming majority vote today to end debate on the 2013 farm bill," says Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. "The decision to invoke cloture clears the way for approval of a much-needed reform of the federal dairy program when the Senate votes on final passage of the Farm Bill expected early next week.

“Dairy farmers have been waiting two years for Congress to approve the new dairy program. Thanks to today’s vote, they can look forward to the end of price supports and other Depression-era programs and the launch of a new plan that will insure them against losses when profit margins shrink to dangerous levels. This fight is not over, but a brighter future is in sight.”

The bill has stalled in the last week as Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on the more than 150 amendments to the bill.

The legislation would eliminate some subsidies paid to farmers whether they grow crops or not and make a small cut to food stamps — about $400 million a year out of the program's almost $80 billion annual cost. It would also create new subsidy programs for Midwestern and Southern farmers.

“The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to see the cloture vote on the farm bill received 75 votes, well over the 60 votes necessary to move the legislation forward," says Pam Johnson, National Corn Growers Association president. "However, there is still important work that needs to be done. We urge the Senate to quickly take action and vote to pass the legislation.”

Check back for more updates.

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