Long-delayed U.S. farm bill heads for final round of work


WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The final round of work on along-delayed U.S. farm bill, drafting of a legislativecompromise between the Senate and House of Representatives,looks about to get started.

An aide to House Speaker John Boehner told Reuters the Housenegotiators could be appointed as early as Saturday. Senateconferees were named in August and reappointed this month.

The House was expected to vote formally in favor of opennegotiations on Saturday, and also to vote on suggestions thatthe bill should make changes to the U.S. sugar program and alsorequire wealthy farmers to pay a larger share of crop insurancepremiums.

The five-year, $500 billion bill, which would expand thefederally subsidized crop insurance system, has been tied up formonths by a dispute in the House over cuts in food stamps forthe poor.

Conservative Republicans defeated the farm bill during thesummer because it did not cut domestic nutrition programs,commonly known as food stamps, deeply enough.

At that point, two separate bills were constructed; one todeal with traditional farm program elements and another tosharply cut food stamp funding.

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