Washington, DC (KELO-AM) Both Republican John Thune and Democrat Tim Johnson voted for the $500-billion farm bill that the U-S Senate passed Tuesday, 68-32.
The huge five-year bill that now goes to President Obama for his sure signature, provides farm subsidies, help for blizzard-struck South Dakota ranchers, and food stamps for the needy.
South Dakota Agriculture Secretary, Lucas Lentsch, was in Washington at a meeting with other ag chiefs from around the country and when word came that the bill had passed, he says they all applauded with a standing ovation. Lentsch says now the work for 2019 begins- the work of educating the public, just not farmers and ranchers, about the importance of the farm bill.
Senator Johnson said on the Senate floor before the vote, that the bill is not perfect, but nothing this big is. Without it, he says, food prices would rise and deficit reduction in farm programs would be hurt.
Senator Thune voted in favor of the compromise bill even though he expressed some misgivings after the House passed it last week.