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The Washington Post reports that the US Congress has overwhelmingly passed an $867 billion farm bill that “allocates billions of dollars in subsidies to American farmers, legalizes hemp, bolsters farmers markets and rejects stricter limits on food stamps pushed by House Republicans.”

The bill’s bipartisan support - the US House of Representatives approved it 386-47, while the Senate voted for it 87-13 - was prompted, the Post writes, “in part by pressure from farmers battered by President Trump’s trade war with China … Congressional negotiators said they faced demands to complete the bill from farmers and ranchers who have seen steep declines in commodities prices as a result of the trade dispute with China.”

President Trump is expected to sign the bill shortly.

Peter Larkin, president/CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA), released a statement saying that the “legislation addresses important issues for independent grocers, including the protection against harmful processing fees and the increased investment in the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program. We were especially pleased to see the Farm Bill contain NGA offered language that would direct significantly more FINI funding to independent supermarkets.”

And Hannah Walker, senior director, technology and nutrition policy at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), said that the bill “leverages technology to better serve every customer shopping in our members’ grocery stores. It drives modernization in the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems, while protecting retailers from unfair and predatory interchange and processing fees.”
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