On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama will affix his signature to a farm bill at a ceremony at Michigan State University, making the bill law.
The farm bill, the result of rare bipartisan compromise in Congress, has left both liberals and conservatives unhappy. The legislation trims $800 million in annual spending on food stamps, but continues subsidies to a broad range of agricultural groups. Squabbling between Democrats and Republicans in Congress delayed passage of the bill for two years, the Associated Press notes.
The signing of the farm bill will be linked to the Obama administration’s “Made in Rural America” program, which seeks to connect rural business with federal support. Obama is heading to the home territory of Democrat Michigan Senator Debbie Stablenow, who worked with the GOP to negotiate the deal to pass the farm bill.
Obama has made pressing Congress to pass legislation a major part of his strategy for this year. In his State of the Union address last month, Obama threatened to use the power of executive orders to make changes if Congress remains politically stalemated.
Though the bill does slash food stamp spending by almost $1 billion a year, that just a fifth of the the cuts GOP members of the House of Representatives had proposed last year. An earlier farm bill failed to garner enough votes in the House last summer, despite backing by GOP Majority Leader John Boehner.
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