JUNEAU -- Alaska's U.S. senators have split on a vote reauthorizing a federal farm bill. Sen. Mark Begich voted for the bill, Sen. Lisa Murkowski against.
Begich, in a statement, said the five-year, half-trillion-dollar bill would provide federal assistance to fishermen devastated by natural disasters, create jobs in rural America, fund food stamps and cut many direct farm subsidies.
Murkowski said the bill contains too many subsidies. She said claims that the bill would save money are only true if the bill is compared to a 10-year continuation of current stimulus fund levels. She said the bill would spend more next year than was spent last year and said she's disappointed the Senate "could not demonstrate more sound leadership today."
The House is expected to write its own version of the bill.