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SPOTLIGHT

1. AGRICULTURE

Senate panel releases 900-page farm bill draft, schedules markup

Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee leaders released a proposed farm bill today that would eliminate direct payments to farmers, consolidate conservation programs, encourage bioenergy and weed out corruption in nutrition assistance. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow's five-year proposal would cut $23 billion from the current farm bill, which authorized $289 billion in spending and is set to expire in September.

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