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Policy: Entitlements

Obama to sign farm bill Friday in Michigan

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Agriculture,Entitlements,PennAve,Farm Bill,Food Stamps,Meghashyam Mali,Subsidies

President Obama will travel to East Lansing, Mich., on Friday to sign the farm bill, the White House announced.

“Obama will deliver remarks at Michigan State University on the importance of the Farm Bill to America's economy,” the White House said in a statement. “The President will see firsthand the research that institutions like MSU are doing to create jobs and drive innovation that benefits farmers, ranchers, our rural communities, and our nation as a whole.”

The Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday in a 68-32 vote, following the House and ending three years of often rancorous debate over the massive legislation.

The five-year, $100 billion legislation will chop $2.3 billion a year from current spending levels, with cuts to both food stamp programs and by ending direct subsidies to farmers.

The farm bill faced multiple hurdles, including opposition from fiscal conservatives who said the cuts did not go far enough and from liberal Democrats who opposed trimming food programs for the poor.

Obama on heralded the Senate vote Tuesday, saying that the farm bill while not “perfect,” would “make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America’s food, but for our nation.”

“This bill provides certainty to America’s farmers and ranchers, and contains a variety of commonsense reforms that my Administration has consistently called for, including reforming and eliminating direct farm subsidies and providing assistance for farmers when they need it most,” said Obama.

“It will continue reducing our deficits without gutting the vital assistance programs millions of hardworking Americans count on to help put food on the table for their families,” he added. “And it will support conservation of valuable lands, spur the development of renewable energy, and incentivize healthier nutrition for all Americans.”

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