The U.S. Senate Monday cleared a procedural hurdle, voting 72-22 to invoke cloture and proceed to final consideration of the 2014 farm bill on Tuesday.
According to the official Senate schedule, a vote on the bill is expected at approximately 2:35 p.m. Eastern time.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said the final bill will reduce the deficit and save taxpayers money.
"This is not your father's Farm Bill," Stabenow said following Monday's cloture vote. "Tomorrow, the Senate can enact major reforms to farm programs, end outdated and unnecessary subsidies, and support the transition the American people are already making to a healthier food system.
"Congress has passed few major deficit reduction bills or major bipartisan jobs bills in recent years. Tomorrow, the Senate can reduce the deficit and help farmers, ranchers and business owners create jobs by passing the 2014 Farm Bill," Stabenow said.
"The Senate has an opportunity to end the uncertainty that has dogged farmers and consumers for years," added Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the committee's ranking member.
"I am grateful that the 2014 farm bill, with its many reforms and deficit reduction measures, is receiving bipartisan support from all regions of the country. This legislation was purposely written to ensure that agriculture policies work to strengthen the diversity of the American agriculture sector, to foster conservation and combat nutrition program abuses."
The bill increases support for fruits and vegetables and local food systems. It also protects food assistance for children, seniors and families while achieving savings in the program by addressing misuse. It is also the country's largest investment in land and water conservation in years, the Senate Agriculture Committee said.
The farm bill is supported by several key farm, food and conservation organizations. A few notable exceptions include the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council, both of which oppose the bill because it fails to eliminate Country of Origin Labeling.
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