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00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d38650002Issues of food, fuel, and field affecting Illinois.

U.S. House To Vote On 2014 Farm Bill

Ron Cogswell

  The U.S. House is set to vote on a new farm bill Wednesday, after House and Senate negotiators earlier this week agreed on compromise legislation combining each chambers' drafts.

This 2014 farm bill has been a long time coming.  At least one farm bill watcher from the Midwest is pleased that Congress has finally reached an agreement on the farm bill after years of debate.

  Jonathan Coppess, who teaches law and policy at the University of Illinois, says negotiations dragged due to the size - roughly one trillion dollars - and complexity of the bill.

But he says it also got hung up by the budget reduction discussions that have been “dominating” in D.C.

“And I think you compound all that with what has become a very partisan environment in Congress." Coppess said.  "Just kind of all those forces really added weight to this bill to try to get it across the finish line.”

One of the biggest changes in the new farm bill is the elimination of direct payments to farmers. Instead, risk management will shift more to crop insurance. 

The bill also trims some farm programs and the federal food stamp program. These cuts are estimated to save 23 billion dollars over the next ten years, compared with current spending levels. 

Peter Gray, Harvest Public Media.

Peter has a diverse background in public, independent and commercial media production. Beginning in 2011, Peter served as reporter and “Morning Edition” host for WUIS. He completed his work at WUIS in 2014. Prior to his start in public radio, he covered the Illinois legislature for NBC affiliate WANDTV-17 and helped launch Phenom Features, a non-profit apprenticeship film studio. Peter hails from Oswego, Ill., where he grew up watching WTTW-11/PBS.
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