Senate committee passes farm bill that cuts spending by $23B

Washington— The Senate Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill Thursday that would reduce spending by $23 billion, in part by ending automatic subsidies to farmers who don't need them or for crops they're not growing.

"We examined every agriculture program to see what was working and what wasn't," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, said.

"With these reforms we saved billions that allowed us to strengthen initiatives that are helping farmers and businesses create new Michigan agriculture jobs."

The bill, approved by a 16-5 margin, provides more funding for research into fruit and vegetable cultivation, an important activity in Michigan, and Great Lakes protection efforts.

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