Congress passes new Farm Bill

The passage of a new farm bill Tuesday by the U.S. Senate was hailed by many as a victory for producers on the High Plains.

The Senate passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 by a vote of 68-32.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to sign it late this week.

U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, said the five-year bill will benefit both producers and taxpayers.

‘Here’s what West Texans need to know; we’re saving taxpayer dollars and actually reducing the deficit by $23 billion,’ Neugebauer said. ‘We’re eliminating direct payments which weren’t tied to actual production, and we’re strengthening crop insurance for when our producers hit hard times.’

The bill closed some loopholes in nutrition assistance, which will save taxpayers $8 billion, he added.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill last week, 251-166.

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