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Lawmakers said they made "great progress" toward reaching a farm bill deal in a meeting Wednesday morning as they push toward a final agreement that could be a year-end bright spot for an otherwise unproductive Congress.
Congress may have punted deadlines for a government shutdown and a debt ceiling deal into 2014, but the clock is ticking on two entitlement programs that will expire in December, stripping away benefits for millions of people in the new year if lawmakers don't act.
Shareholders of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer and processor, approved on Tuesday morning a deal to sell the company to Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International for $4.7 billion in a deal that represents the largest Chinese takeover of an American company ever.
Democrats angrily denounced a Republican-led effort to strip food stamp funding from the farm bill and vote on SNAP spending separately, with one even suggesting that biblical principles demand lawmakers provide the benefit.
The head of Smithfield Foods, the country's largest pork producer, told skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that the proposed $4.7 billion sale of his Virginia-based company to a Chinese rival will create jobs and expand markets.
A Senate committee on Thursday announced plans to hold a hearing next month on the proposed $4.7 billion takeover of America's top pork producer by a Chinese rival — the biggest takeover of a U.S. corporation by a Chinese company ever.
Despite all the promises of frugality in Washington, the newest version of the farm bill passed by the House boasts a pricetag near $1 trillion and manages to send plenty of subsidies back to influential special interests in lawmakers' home states.
Sen. Carl Levin, a sixth-term Michigan Democrat and one of the Senate's longest serving and most influential members, said Thursday he won't see re-election in 2014.
While congressional leaders have reached a deal to avoid milk prices from skyrocketing in the coming weeks, the proposal was in limbo Tuesday as it was piggybacked onto the stalled measure intended to avoid the nation falling off the "fiscal cliff."