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U.S. Senate moves along 2012 Farm Bill talks (6.8.2012)
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8, 2012 - The full senate voted in support of continuing 2012 Farm Bill consideration earlier this week. The vote passed 90-8 in favor of proceeding. This farm bill is known for cutting spending through its strict reform of direct payment programs to farmers.
 
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture who also will provide the opening remarks at HighQuest Partners upcoming inaugural Women In Agribusiness Summit in New Orleans in September, said the current bill “represents commonsense and responsible reforms that will save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars while strengthening key initiatives that will allow our economy to continue growing and creating jobs."
 
Stabenow said it has the support from hundreds of agriculture and food organizations.
 
She encouraged her fellow senators to pass the bill immediately considering the 2008 Farm Bill is due to expire in September.
 
Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) co-authored the bill with Stabenow. He said the bill serves taxpayers while strengthening programs important to the life of rural America and the agriculture community.
 
"We’ve cut mandatory spending by $23.6 billion. We’ve reformed, eliminated and streamlined USDA programs to the tune of more than 100 programs and authorizations eliminated. We’ve done it on a voluntary basis and in a bipartisan fashion," Roberts said. "Simply put, this bill is commonsense reform and needs to be approved now to provide certainty for our farmers and ranchers to make planning decisions and to help our economic recovery."
 
This bill consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13 initiaves, ends four subsidy programs including direct payments, and is said to strengthen risk management during volatile times through market-based tools. The "Jobs" bill, as quipped by Stabenow, is credited with preserving jobs for Americans through reform.
 
"Sixteen million American jobs rely on agriculture. The time for reform is now," Stabenow said.

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