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1/30/2014 3:57:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Shimkus supports farm legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) voted for the Agricultural Act of 2014, the farm bill conference report.

The bill passed the House Wednesday and is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law.

Shimkus said important farm policy reforms in the legislation include repeal of Direct Payments, strengthening of crop insurance, consolidating 23 conservation programs into 13, and many others.

"One of the major reforms is in the food stamp program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP - in Illinois, Link), and eight billion dollars in savings come from food stamp reforms. A total of 23 billion dollars is saved over 10 years," Shimkus explained.

The food stamp reforms include eliminating the LIHEAP loophole, prohibiting advertising and enrollment drives, eliminating medical marijuana as an eligible expense, and allowing states to pursue fraud.

"In total, four current commodity programs are repealed. In addition to Direct Payments, Counter-Cyclical Payments, Average Crop Revenue Election program, and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments will end," Shimkus added. "The farm bill moves toward risk management by encouraging participation in the Price Loss Coverage and Agriculture Risk Coverage programs, in addition to crop insurance."

Many agriculture groups supported the bill, including American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Illinois Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.


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