Farm bill passes

After more than a year of wrangling, politicians have passed a new five-year United States Farm Bill.

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After more than a year of wrangling, politicians have passed a new five-year United States Farm Bill.

It contains surprisingly few changes from the current bill.

Surprising because U.S. President Donald Trump and his Republican allies said they wanted to substantially tighten rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.

In particular, they wanted to enforce the rule that recipients must provide 20 hours of charitable work to qualify.

And they wanted to replace shopping choice of what to buy at supermarkets with a basket of foods the government would provide.

Neither change is likely to emerge because the bills that have passed in the Senate and in the House of Representatives feature few changes.

The next stage is a meeting of the House and Senate to craft a joint bill that both are expected to endorse before Christmas.

The Farm Bill matters to Canadians because of its heavy influence on agricultural production and market prices.

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