Senate votes to end subsidies to wealthier farmers
10/21/2011 12:32:15 AM - AP News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to end direct payments to farmers whose annual incomes exceed $1 million.The 84-15 vote approving the provision by Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn came as the Senate worked into the early morning hours Friday on a vast spending bill.Coburn argued that the government shouldn't be subsidizing the highest earning farmers at a time of deep budget deficits. The leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who opposed Coburn, are working on legislation that could eliminate the entire $5 billion-a-year direct payment program for farmers.Direct payments go to farmers regardless of crop prices or yields. They are relied on heavily by many rice and cotton farmers in the South.