U.S. Senate passes five-year farm bill

By WEEK Producer

U.S. Senate passes five-year farm bill

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 6:20 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It took more than two years, but Congress has finally passed a roughly $1 trillion farm bill.

It cuts about $8 billion from the food stamp program and ends direct cash subsidies to some farmers.

The legislation also creates a new crop insurance program to protect growers from catastrophic losses.

Opponents said the bill pays for things that aren't necessary.

"The next time you see an advertisement for maple syrup you may want to watch it because it’s your tax dollars that paid for it,” said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.

"This is a reform bill that contains the greatest reforms to agriculture programs in decades,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D) Agriculture Committee Chairwoman.

Senator Dick Durbin voted in favor of the bill but still said it isn't perfect. Durbin sponsored a clause that would reduce crop insurance subsidies for the wealthiest farmers. That money would have then gone to food stamps.

The clause was voted down in the House and not included in the bill that passed the Senate.

Two million Illinois residents rely on food stamps.

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