Political Notebook

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Coats backs farm bill

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., announced Monday afternoon that he plans to vote in favor of the five-year farm bill the Senate is debating.

“This farm bill contains over $16 billion in cost savings, reforms outdated programs and reduces food stamp abuse,” Coats said in a statement. “It also provides a broad safety net in the event of a natural disaster and includes my idea to allow Indiana specialty crop producers the flexibility they need to respond to market signals when making planting decisions.”

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said last week he would support the compromise legislation produced by a House-Senate conference committee. The measure would spend $100 billion a year, cut spending on food stamps by $800 million a year and replace direct-payment farm subsidies with subsidized crop insurance programs.

The House passed the farm bill last week in a bipartisan 251-166 vote. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, voted against it because food stamps and agriculture programs were not split into separate bills.

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