Markup of U.S. farm bill postponed

April 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- Markup of a new U.S. farm bill that would replace direct cash payments to farmers with crop insurance has been postponed, a Senate committee chairwoman said.

No new date for a markup has been announced for the bill before the Senate Agriculture Committee, The Hill reported.

"The Agriculture Committee has made significant progress and have bipartisan agreement on the bulk of the farm bill," committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said in a statement.

"We are committed to continuing to work together in a bipartisan way as we come to agreement on a few outstanding issues. This is a bill that impacts 16 million jobs and a huge sector of America's economy, and it is important that we move prudently to create the best possible product."

The Hill said rice, peanut and cotton growers had asked this week the markup be delayed until mid-May.

The measure would reduce the deficit by $26 billion, less than the amount the White House and House Republicans had hoped.

Observers said they expected Republican Sens. John Boozman of Arkansas, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Thad Cochran of Mississippi to vote against the bill.

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