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U.S. Rep. Bill Owens
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens

Owens seeks compromise on farm bill

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This week the Senate passed a five-year, nearly $500 billion farm bill. About three-quarters of that pays for the food stamp program, which would be cut by $400 million a year. Direct farm subsidies are largely replaced by subsidies for crop insurance. And there are a barrelfull of other items from land conservation to support for young farmers.

This is pretty much where things stood a year ago. But House Speaker John Boehner refused to let his chamber's version of the farm bill come to the floor for a vote. Conservative Republicans believed the bill contained too much government spending.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

On Monday, Boehner said he would allow the farm bill to get to the floor this time. The House version cuts food stamps five times as deeply as the Senate version. And there's a movement to eliminate a part of the new dairy safety net that would control the supply of milk to prevent prices from sharply dropping.

That's a problem to North Country Congressman Bill Owens. Owens says the farm bill will have to be a compromise. But he said you need supply management for another part of the dairy safety net to work - an insurance program that pays farmers when their profit margins shrink.

On food stamps, Owens said he would support a compromise - cuts to food stamps of between $8 and $12 billion, or roughly halfway between the Senate and House versions.

Hear David Sommerstein's full conversation with Bill Owens.

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