Agriculture secretary presses House on farm bill

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Associated Press

Posted on June 29, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 29 at 10:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is pressing the Republican-led House to vote on a long-term farm policy bill.

He says in an Associated Press interview that failure to act on the measure could leave livestock producers exposed to disasters and other farmers uncertain about the future.

Vilsack dismisses apparent concerns among House GOP leaders that the half-trillion-dollar farm and food bill could lead to an election-year rebellion among conservatives. He says a bipartisan bill would pass.

The Senate last week voted 64-35 to pass a five-year bill.

The legislation ends direct payments to farmers regardless of whether they plant crops and sets up new crop support programs. It also reduces the federal deficit by $23 billion over the next 10 years.

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