Senate Approves New Farm Bill
The Senate has passed a version of the Farm Bill that includes $1 trillion in spending over the next decade both for aid to U.S. farmers and for food stamps to low-income families. The Senate bill cuts about $4.5 billion from the food stamp program, and the House is expected to seek even deeper cuts. The bill ends direct subsidies to U.S. farmers but expands the crop insurance program, which would cost $9 billion annually. Environmentalists have hailed a requirement that farmers who receive insurance subsidies must have basic environmental protections in place. But the bill has also come under criticism for failing to tackle the control of large agribusiness. In a statement, the group Food & Water Watch criticized the measure, saying: "The Senate passed a farm bill that left the largest agribusiness and food processing companies firmly in control of America’s food system."