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Senate Deadlocked on Farm Bill

US - Democrats on Friday failed to advance the Senates $286 billion farm bill.

Democrats fell short of getting the 60 votes necessary to limit debate on the bill. The closely divided Senate voted 55-42 in favor of the debate cutoff.

That outcome makes it virtually impossible for Congress to finish wok on the farm bill before Christmas. The Senate breaks today for a two-week Thanksgiving recess without having taken a single vote on the farm bill after two weeks of arguing about what amendments would be allowed.

Democrats accused Republicans of trying to kill or at least delay the bill by insisting on offering numerous and irrelevant amendments. Republicans said Democrats were trying to unduly restrict the number of amendments to prevent votes on uncomfortable issues.

Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley was one of just four Republicans to vote for the debate limit. The others were John Thune of South Dakota, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Gordon Smith of Oregon.

Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said before today’s vote that the bill was in jeopardy.

Source: DesMoinesRegister