Arkansas’s two U.S. Senators are praising Tuesday’s passage of a five-year farm bill, which now heads to President Obama for his signature.
The vote in the chamber came after extensive negotiations, with much of the debate focusing on the inclusion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the $ 1 trillion bill.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Democrat Mark Pryor said it will be vital for the agriculture industry.
“We hear every day in the United States Senate from the business community (that) they want more certainty, they want more stability, well this bill provides that in the agriculture economy. Our farmers and our producers and others, they deserve that same certainly and stability and this bill provides that,” Pryor said.
Republican John Boozman was part of the conference committee that negotiated the agreement between House and Senate versions of the bill.
The House, which passed the bill last week, was pushing for deeper cuts to the SNAP program, which ended up being reduced by 1 percent. Commonly known as food stamps, it provides for the poorest in the nation, though conservatives have suggested the program is being abused.
Boozman told reporters after the vote that reaching a consensus was difficult, “but at the end of the day I think we’ve got a really good product, something that we can all be proud of.”
“As you know, these aren’t Democratic or Republican issues, to a large extent it’s making sure that the various segments of agriculture are well represented throughout the various regions of the country.”
One in six jobs in Arkansas are connected to agriculture industry.