WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has begun laying the groundwork on a massive farm bill that would cut spending while also creating new subsidies for farmers.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is considering its version of the farm bill Tuesday. The legislation makes concessions to Southern rice and peanut farmers, thanks to a new top Republican on the committee, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.
The bill eliminates $5 billion in annual subsidies called direct payments that are important to those Southern farmers but makes it easier for those farmers to receive alternate subsidies if prices dip.
The Senate bill calls for roughly $2.4 billion a year in cuts, while the House would save $4 billion out of about $100 billion annually.
Those cuts include savings from across the board cuts that took effect this year.
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