WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has voted to move forward on a wide-ranging, five-year farm bill. In a procedural vote, the chamber voted 75-22 to take a step toward passage of the legislation, which costs almost $100 billion annually and would set policy for farm subsidies, food stamps and other farm and food aid programs.
The bill has stalled in the last week as Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on the more than 150 amendments to the bill. The legislation would eliminate some subsidies paid to farmers whether they grow crops or not and make a small cut to food stamps - about $400 million a year out of the program's almost $80 billion annual cost. It would also create new subsidy programs for Midwestern and Southern farmers.