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Leahy, Sanders React To Farm Bill Passage

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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
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Sen. Patrick Leahy speaks with reporters just after Congress gave its final approval to a sweeping five-year farm bill on Tuesday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says the farm bill passed by the U.S. Senate will strengthen Vermont.

Leahy says a new insurance program will be a vital safety net for Vermont's hard-pressed dairy farmers. The insurance pays out when the gap between the price farmers receive for milk and their feed costs narrows to help them survive price collapses like they have seen in recent years.

Leahy said Tuesday that a new dairy product donation program will benefit both food banks and farmers facing market gluts.

Both Leahy and Sen. Bernie Sanders are lamenting the $800 million, or about 1 percent, cut in food stamps but say it's far less than what some House members wanted. Sanders says it's morally wrong to cut assistance to families in a difficult economy.