Tuesday afternoon the Senate passed the farm bill conference report that was passed the week prior in the House. The President has indicated he will sign the bill once it reaches his desk, ending a multiple-year process of passing the latest installment of U.S. farm policy.
Monday afternoon the chamber approved cloture by a vote of 72-22 which would allow for a vote on the bill Tuesday without additional debate. The final vote on the Senate floor was 68-32.
“Many people said this would never happen in this environment, but Congress has come together to pass a major bipartisan jobs bill. Congress has also passed a major reform and deficit reduction bill. Both bills are the 2014 Farm Bill,” said Senate Agriculture Committee chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.). “This effort proves that by working across party lines, we can save taxpayer money and create smart policies that lay the foundation for a stronger economy. It’s been a long road with many challenges. I’m very proud that we maintained steadfast bipartisanship throughout this process.”
Stabenow said on the Senate floor Monday during the debate, “This is not your father’s farm bill.” She explained major reforms are included such as ending direct payments and making one of the largest investments in land and water conservation in years.
Stabenow’s counterpart last year, Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) said in the end he was unable to support the final bill.
“Unfortunately, I believe that Congress has missed the mark, and that the conference report goes backwards towards protectionist subsidy programs, instead of forward with innovative and responsible solutions,” Roberts said on the floor Monday night.
However, many agricultural groups released statements after the Senate vote praising the Senate for accomplishing one of the final steps in what has been a long process.