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OPINION
September 12, 2012
Midwestern farmers, facing uncertainty about their crops in the midst of the worst drought in half a century, have something else to steam about: Congress' failure to pass a new farm bill, even though the old one is slated to expire Sept. 30. That may not sound so bad, because farm bills are invariably bloated with market-distorting corporate welfare for agribusiness that we'd be better off without. Yet they also fund the federal food stamp program, one of the most important strands of the U.S. safety net. The Senate passed a version of the farm bill in June that cut spending on food stamps by a modest $4.5 billion over 10 years and trimmed overall spending by $23 billion during that period by eliminating direct payments to farmers, which are awarded whether or not they plant anything.
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SPORTS
February 8, 2014 | By Dan Loumena
Kate Upton, the model best known for gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue, received a marriage proposal Friday night, but it wasn't from boyfriend Justin Verlander, the hard-throwing pitcher from the Detroit Tigers. While watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Orlando Magic at Amway Arena, Stuff the mascot for the Magic spotted Upton sitting alone and swooped in. The rest of the story can be followed on Twitter.   Thanks @STUFF_mascot for the proposal tonight!
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NATIONAL
June 20, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A revolt among rank-and-file Republicans helped kill the farm bill in the House on Thursday, the latest vote to reflect the influence of conservative groups that have often been at odds with the chamber's GOP leadership. More than a quarter of the Republicans joined with most Democrats to defeat the nearly $1-trillion bill to reauthorize farm subsidies and nutrition programs, legislation that has traditionally been bipartisan. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)
SPORTS
February 7, 2014 | By Chris Foster
Jeff Ulbrich, UCLA's linebackers coach, has been promoted to defensive coordinator. He replaces Lou Spanos, who was hired last month by the Tennessee Titans to coach the NFL team's linebackers. Ulbrich, who turns 37 on Feb. 17, spent the last two seasons working with the linebackers, one of the Bruins' strengths with future NFL picks Anthony Barr and Jordan Zumwalt and, in 2013, freshman Myles Jack. Ulbrich also coached the UCLA special teams. It leaves UCLA with one staff spot to fill.
NEWS
January 29, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives easily approved a new five-year farm bill Wednesday, ending nearly two years of contentious debate over how to cut agriculture subsidies and nutrition programs. The final vote was 251-166. The Senate is expected to begin considering the compromise bill, which was unveiled Monday by House and Senate negotiators, early next week. The final product averts deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and ends direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Key lawmakers from both parties announced a final agreement Monday for a multi-year farm bill, putting Congress on the verge of clearing another long-stalled priority from its to-do list. The proposed compromise, which could come up for a House vote Wednesday, would avert deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and end direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans narrowly passed a beleaguered farm bill Thursday, but only after they eliminated the food stamp program for low-income families that conservatives have wanted to cut. Even with the massive reduction in food aid, though, Republican leaders could barely rally support to pass the bill. In the past, farm bills have reliably won support from congressional Republicans, many of whom represent rural districts, but last month conservatives defeated a version of the measure, which they decried as overspending.
NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Careful to not let a rare legislative accomplishment go unnoticed, President Obama will jet to an agricultural research hub in Michigan on Friday to sign into law the long-delayed farm bill and deliver a speech on the importance of rural America to the economy. In his brief trip to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Obama will outline a new administration-wide effort to boost exports from rural America and point to a new report from his economic team on the growth in the agricultural sector.
NEWS
July 13, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
Taking aim at California's pioneering efforts to bolster animal safety, the House Agriculture Committee has moved to block states from imposing their own standards for agriculture products on producers from other states. That could jeopardize California laws to protect chickens as well as one to ban foie gras, which took effect this month.  The panel's amendment to the farm bill was a response to a California law, which will take effect in 2015, that requires that all eggs sold in the state be produced by hens held in cages big enough to allow the chickens to stand and spread their wings.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
Congressman George Miller (D-Martinez), has called out his colleagues in the House of Representatives who voted two weeks ago to zero out funding for food stamps while collecting millions of dollars in farm subsidies for themselves with both hands.  There are 14 of them, all Republicans, according to the report Miller's office issued this week . Titled "Pork Barrel Politics," it names names. This rogues' gallery of hypocrisy has a total net worth of up to $124.5 million (the exact figure isn't public, because members of Congress only have to declare their wealth in ranges)
NATIONAL
February 7, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Keen not to let a rare legislative accomplishment go unnoticed, President Obama jetted to an agricultural research hub here Friday to sign into law a long-delayed farm bill and tout the importance of rural America to the economy. In a brief trip to Michigan State University, Obama cited the bill as a victory for his economic agenda and a hopeful sign he could "break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven, partisan decision-making. " His message, however, was undermined by the release of a weak jobs report and a snub from Republican lawmakers who were invited to the unusual outside-Washington signing ceremony but did not attend.
NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Careful to not let a rare legislative accomplishment go unnoticed, President Obama will jet to an agricultural research hub in Michigan on Friday to sign into law the long-delayed farm bill and deliver a speech on the importance of rural America to the economy. In his brief trip to Michigan State University in East Lansing, Obama will outline a new administration-wide effort to boost exports from rural America and point to a new report from his economic team on the growth in the agricultural sector.
NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Keen to not let a rare legislative accomplishment go unnoticed, President Obama jetted to an agricultural research hub in Michigan on Friday to sign into law a long-delayed farm bill and tout the importance of rural America to the economy. In his brief trip to Michigan State University, Obama cited the bill as a victory for his economic agenda and a hopeful sign that he could “break the cycle of short-sighted, crisis-driven, partisan decision-making.” His message, however, was undermined by the release of a weak jobs report as he left for the state Friday morning, as well as the decision by Republican lawmakers to snub the president.
SPORTS
February 7, 2014 | Mike DiGiovanna
  Mike Trout did not make it past the first round in this winter's “Face of the Franchise” tournament on MLB Network, losing to Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt in the first round. But the Angels star is not lacking for name recognition in the nation's highest political office. In a speech at Michigan State University on Friday, President Obama invoked Trout's name while discussing the farm bill that Congress just passed. The dynamic Trout, a 22-year-old two-way star, was the American League rookie of the year in 2012 and runnerup to Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera in most valuable player voting in both 2012 and 2013.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - In a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a nearly $1-trillion farm bill, a hard-fought compromise that sets policy over agricultural subsidies, nutrition programs and the food stamp safety net for the next five years. The Senate approved the measure, 68-32, as a cross-section of farm state senators from both parties fought opposition from budget hawks and some liberals and sent the bill to the White House for President Obama's signature.
NEWS
February 3, 2014 | By Jon Healey
Maybe reforming federal farm subsidies is a task fit for Sisyphus. Every five years or so, when the farm programs come up for reauthorization, fiscal conservatives and good-government types try to make the subsidies look less like corporate welfare and more like an industrial policy designed to preserve the food supply. The former hands out money to agribusinesses regardless of their size or need for help; the latter focuses aid on farmers whose resources are too thin to buffer them from the vicissitudes of weather and crop yields.
OPINION
June 8, 2012 | By Dan Imhoff and Michael Dimock
In 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the very first farm bill, formally called the Agricultural Adjustment Act, he told the nation that "an unprecedented condition calls for the trial of new means to rescue agriculture. " That legislation, passed as the country struggled to emerge from the Depression, was visionary in the way it employed agricultural policy to address significant national issues, including rural poverty and hunger. It may not seem obvious while standing in the aisles of a modern grocery store, but the country today faces another food and farming crisis.
SPORTS
February 7, 2014 | Mike DiGiovanna
  Mike Trout did not make it past the first round in this winter's “Face of the Franchise” tournament on MLB Network, losing to Arizona slugger Paul Goldschmidt in the first round. But the Angels star is not lacking for name recognition in the nation's highest political office. In a speech at Michigan State University on Friday, President Obama invoked Trout's name while discussing the farm bill that Congress just passed. The dynamic Trout, a 22-year-old two-way star, was the American League rookie of the year in 2012 and runnerup to Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera in most valuable player voting in both 2012 and 2013.
NEWS
January 29, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives easily approved a new five-year farm bill Wednesday, ending nearly two years of contentious debate over how to cut agriculture subsidies and nutrition programs. The final vote was 251-166. The Senate is expected to begin considering the compromise bill, which was unveiled Monday by House and Senate negotiators, early next week. The final product averts deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and ends direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
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