|By Steve Baragona|
|Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.|
The legislation, however, has drawn criticism for its generous new subsidies and potential to violate international trade laws.
According to the latest
End of direct payments
The largest part of the cuts is from ending a
"We all agreed that direct payment subsidies could no longer be justified and needed to be eliminated," said
"We also knew that it was important to have a safety net for our farmers," she added.
Supporters note that farmers have to spend their own money to buy crop insurance.
"You get a bill, not a check," Stabenow said. "And you don't get any kind of help unless you have a loss."
The federal government pays more than half of the bill, which critics say is excessive.
Alternatively, farmers can choose a "counter-cyclical" program that pays a benefit when crop prices fall below a set point, but proposed limits on the amount of subsidy farmers could receive were removed.
"The result of that is going to be a counter-cyclical program that will be much more market-distorting than the current ones for a few crops," said
Advocates for international food aid reform cheered a small change in the Farm Bill that they say will make help available to hundreds of thousands more people.
While most U.S. food aid comes from American farmers and is transported on U.S.-flagged vessels,
Aid groups also can offer cash vouchers for beneficiaries to purchase food themselves.
Proponents say these tools are much more efficient, allowing U.S. aid to reach more people with the same resources.
Programs for the needy in
The bill ultimately cut
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