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This week in the Senate: Farm bill, EPA rule will dominate


The Senate this week is expected to take up the 10-year, $969 billion farm bill ???work that is expected to keep those lawmakers busy all month debating $23.6 billion in cuts.

The legislation includes the contentious food stamp program, which now helps feed 46 million Americans and which lawmakers hope to fund at a cost of $750 billion, a $4.5 billion cut.

The Senate has several items on its to-do list before the Fourth of July recess, including flood insurance, student loans and completion of the highway bill, which also contains language approving the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Senate will vote on a measure by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) that would overturn the EPA???s Utility MACT rule that critics say will shutter coal plants across the country.

???Right now 50 percent of our electricity comes from coal, so you can imagine what will happen to your energy costs as well as millions of lost jobs,??? Inhofe said during a floor speech last week.

???Utility MACT is the centerpiece of President Obama???s effort to kill coal. Utility MACT is specifically designed to close down existing plants, while the Obama-EPA???s greenhouse gas regulations are specifically designed to prevent any new coal plants from being built,??? Inhofe said.

???The goal behind these policies is not surprising. But what is surprising is that while President Obama goes around pretending to be for an ???all-of-the-above??? approach on energy, members of his green team administration just can???t help but tell us the truth about what???s really going on at EPA,??? Inhofe said.

Committees will look at how China competes with the U.S. on clean energy and hold an oversight hearing of the Justice Department.