President Barack Obama signed a massive farm bill into law on Friday after a drawn-out debate in Congress.
The president likened the nearly $1 trillion bill to a Swiss Army Knife for its many policy implications -- on agriculture, on public food programs, on the environment and beyond.
"It's like Mike Trout -- for those of you who like baseball," he added, likening it to the multi-talented Angels outfielder who fell short in 2012's MVP race against Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.
The legislation only emerged from Congress after a lengthy debate over its price tag, and its amount spend on food assistance programs. The final legislation cuts about $8.6 billion in food stamps over the next decade.
Obama chose Michigan State University, which was founded as an agriculture school and still features a robust farming program, as the backdrop for the bill signing. The White House said that it had invited as many as 50 lawmakers to attend Friday's ceremony, and a handful of Democrats traveled aboard Air Force One to the ceremony. No Republicans accepted an invitation.
Before touring MSU facilities and giving a speech that mostly rehashed themes from his State of the Union address, Obama lunched with Detroit's new mayor, Mike Duggan.
"He told me that if there's one thing he wants everybody to know, it's that Detroit is open for business," Obama said of his lunch with Duggan.
First published February 7 2014, 12:09 PM