Galesburg’s representatives in Congress are showing support for Farm Bill legislation after two years of negotiations.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a five-year Farm Bill with what’s considered bipartisan support, 68-32.About 23-billion dollars will be cut from real entitlement reform over 10 years.
The Farm Bill is expected to impact Illinois farmers who supply nearly seven percent of the country’s agricultural exports.
Speaking from the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he understands the cuts to the SNAP program, but says the new bill limits fraud.
“We think we have tightened up so it will not affect the payments to those who are truly eligible and those who need the help and yet it will make sure the tax payers are treated fairly as well.”
17th District U.S. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says she is applauding the legislation and the certainty that a long-term farm bill provides.
In addition to supplying what Durbin called “robust” agricultural research, the Farm Bill consolidates some rural development programs and provides minimum funding to the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says the Farm Bill is an example of compromise that reduces the deficit.