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Lawmakers Agree On Farm Bill But No Extra Water For Valley

{}{}{}{} 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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