Pres. Obama expected to sign farm bill in Mich. on Friday - WNEM TV 5

Pres. Obama expected to sign farm bill in Mich. on Friday

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President Barack Obama is expected to sign a controversial bill when he stops in the state on Friday.

The U.S. House and Senate have passed the farm bill, needing only his signature to make it law.

But what exactly is it and how does it impact you? For starters, it's a bill that sets policy for government farm subsidies and nutrition programs, including food stamps.

In fact, nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion bill will go towards the supplemental nutrition assistance program, better known as SNAP. And this farm bill will reduce that program by $800 million per year -- a one percent cut.

Conservatives say the food stamp cuts are not enough, while liberals say they're being cut too much.

But thanks to Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, the cuts were low enough to win the support of Democrats and just enough to win over moderate Republicans.

The farm bill also eliminates farm subsidies called direct payments. That's when farmers get paid, no matter how much they plant or sell. But cutting the payments will save $19 billion over 10 years.

As a result, the government is expanding crop insurance to pay the deductibles for farmers, hoping that will help cushion the blow.

The White House says President Obama will sign the farm bill at Michigan State University on Friday.

WNEM TV5 will be there tomorrow -- count on us for continuing coverage of the event.

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