Senate Approves Farm Bill

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by NADO Admin

On June 10, the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954) by a vote of 66 to 27. The bill reauthorizes USDA programs for five-years and includes $23 billion in program cuts and consolidations. Additionally, the Senate bill would reduce $400 million out of $80 billion spent annually on food stamps, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The bill sets mandatory funding levels per year for the following USDA Rural Development programs:  

·         $150 million for the Water/Wastewater Backlog Program.

·         $62.5 million for the Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG).

·         $15 million for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).

 Other Highlights of the Senate Farm Bill (S.954):

·         Reauthorizes the Delta Regional Authority.

·         Reauthorizes the Northern Border Regional Commission.

·         Reauthorizes the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission.

·         Reauthorizes the Northern Great Plains Regional Authority.

·         Includes new language allowing USDA Rural Development greater flexibility in allocating resources to economically distressed regions and communities.

·         Includes rural development initiatives to assist rural communities in upgrading infrastructure and extending broadband capability.

Click here (http://www NULL.senate NULL.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/vote_menu_113_1 NULL.htm) to view the full legislative text of S.954. Click here (http://www NULL.ag NULL.senate NULL.gov/issues/farm-bill) to view a detailed summary and a complete list of approved amendments.

The U.S. House plans to take up their version of the Farm Bill the week of June 17. The current Farm Bill extension expires on September 30.

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