Critics Want Hold Placed on Farm Bill

Critics are saying that Congress should slash at least 100-billion dollars in costs from the U.S. farm bill - three or four times more than cuts currently proposed. They are targeting the sugar subsidy and biotech support programs. They believe the 5-billion-a-year "direct payment" subsidy to farmers should be eliminated as part of temporary legislation that would bridge the gap to a new five-year law in 2013. That would mean no vote on a farm bill this year.

Agricultural leaders in Congress hope to attach the farm bill to a deficit reduction package that is needed by year's end to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January. They say the 23-billion to 36-billion dollars in proposed savings could help reduce the federal debt.

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