69
      Saturday
      86 / 68
      Sunday
      89 / 69
      Monday
      87 / 66

      President Obama signs farm bill at Michigan State University

      President Obama signing the farm bill.

      Michigan State University in the spotlight Friday as President Barack Obama signs the 2014 Agricultural Act.

      ??This is the perfect ending to a very big challenge,?? says Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D-Michigan). Stabenow chairs the Senate committee on agriculture. The democrat helped pass the nearly $1 trillion bill.

      ??I mean the fact that the president is here means he understands Michigan farmers,?? says Stabenow.

      The law allows specialty farmers to purchase crop insurance which helps protect against disasters. But the president says the bill isn??t just for farmers.

      ??(It??s) a jobs bill, an innovation bill, an infrastructure bill, a conservation bill, it??s like a Swiss army knife,?? says President Obama.

      ??It has a number of different provisions. He mentioned organic food, farmers markets. Our partners will be looking very closely at how those new programs can benefit our community,?? says Dayne Walling, mayor of Flint.

      The law cuts nearly $9 billion to the food stamps program. It??s far less than the $39 billion cut Republicans in the House of Representatives wanted. Showing their opposition, G.O.P. members decided not to attend the bill signing.

      ??We would have loved to have them here but I know schedules are tough,?? says Stabenow.

      Despite the absence, Obama says the bi-partisan bill is a step in the right direction.

      ??It doesn??t include everything I??d like to see and I know leaders on both sides of the aisle feel the same way. But it??s a good sign that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to come through,?? says Obama.