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Obama to sign farm bill

Washington (AP) -- President Barack Obama is carrying out a presidential duty he hasn't had a lot of opportunity to perform recently: signing into law a major piece of bipartisan legislation.

Obama plans Friday to sign a far-reaching farm bill during a visit to Michigan State University.

The bill expands federal crop insurance and ends direct government payments to farmers. But the bulk of its cost is for the food stamp program that aids 1 in 7 Americans.

A partisan dispute on food stamp spending held up the legislation for two years.

The compromise bill cuts food stamps by $800 million a year, or around 1 percent, far less than House Republicans wanted.

Obama is coupling the signing with a new administration initiative to boost exports. It's called "Made in Rural America."

 
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