Lawmakers Agree On Farm Bill But No Extra Water For Valley - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Lawmakers Agree On Farm Bill But No Extra Water For Valley

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -

     After two years of wrangling, House and Senate leaders announced Monday that they've finally reached an agreement on a new farm bill.

     Lawmakers say the bill includes major reforms like eliminating direct payment subsidy programs to farmers and cracking down on food stamp fraud and misuse.

     They also say it invests in initiatives to help strengthen fruit and vegetable industries and increase American agriculture exports.

     Supporters say the bill would cut about $8 billion from the food stamp program and reduce spending by about $23 billion over the next 10 years.

    The House could vote on the bill as soon as Wednesday, but it looks like more water for the central valley will not be a part of it.

    As KMPH Fox 26 News reported earlier, House Republican leadership tried to insert a provision into the farm bill to divert northern California water toward San Joaquin Valley farms.

    The proposal would have turned on delta pumps this year and next and ended restoration flows in the San Joaquin River that flushes the equivalent of a full Bass Lake to the ocean every year.

     Unfortunately, the 11th-hour effort was defeated with California Congressman John Garamendi saying, "After two years of negotiations over a farm bill, trying to sneak a water grab into the bill at the last minute was grossly irresponsible . It could have scuttled the legislation."

    Garamendi is a farmer and rancher from northern California.

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