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Obama Keeps Promise: USDA Gives $630 Million to Farmers

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The money was taken from a pot usually used for school nutrition programs.

(AP) — The Obama administration is making good on an election-year promise to Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln to give millions of dollars in aid to farmers who lost crops due to weather.

Many of the farmers eligible are in Arkansas. Lincoln, caught in a bruising race for re-election, has pushed for the aid, and she secured a promise from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in July that the money would be paid out. It took the Agriculture Department almost two months to figure out how to do it, since such disaster aid is usually subject to congressional approval.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the $630 million in disaster aid will come from a pot of money at USDA that is often used to supplement school nutrition programs.

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