WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has voted not to tamper with the depression-era program that protects U.S. sugar growers as it sped toward completion of a $500 billion bill to operate farm and food programs over the next five years.
The sugar program, which controls supply levels, sets prices and limits imports, has long been a target of those who say the government supports agribusiness over the interests of consumers.
But on Wednesday the Senate defeated an amendment to the farm bill that would have reduced the scope of the program. Last week the Senate also defeated an amendment to phase out the program entirely.
The Senate is working through some 73 amendments before voting on the farm bill, which establishes safety nets for farmers and funds the food stamp program.
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