News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The U.S. Senate today passed the new Farm Bill on a vote of 58-40. The bill adds $73 billion over the next ten years to commodity, conservation, nutrition, rural development, trade and research programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sen. Murray's statement follows:

"The Senate has sent a strong message to farmers, rural communities, and the poor by passing a new Farm Bill.

At a time when the economy is faltering, the bill adds $8 billion to the food stamp program to restore benefits to legal immigrants, improve benefits to families with children, and to give more administrative flexibility to state and local governments. That means a better safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

At a time when our farmers are struggling and facing bankruptcy, the bill restores a safety net for some producers. I worked to provide $100 million in emergency payments to apple growers in the short-term and to create a new safety net program for pea and lentil producers. That means fewer farmers will go out of business.

At a time when our region is facing critical challenges on endangered species and clean water, the bill makes historic new investments in USDA conservation programs. That means we will be better able to meet public demands for a cleaner environment.

Washington state is the most trade-dependent in the nation. I worked to enhance funding for market promotion programs so our farmers, cooperatives and small businesses can open new markets and compete for market-share. That means jobs in our ports, our big cities, our rural communities, and on our farms and ranches.

Six years ago, Congress passed a Farm Bill that failed to meet our most basic needs. Today we're correcting that mistake."