Congressional Democrats passed a $3.5-trillion budget that includes many of President Barack Obama’s proposals. However, the Congress rejected the administration’s plan to alter the 2008 farm bill by phasing out direct payments for producers with gross sales over $500,000 and capping farm payments at $250,000. The administration met strong resistance from a united ag community and the leadership of the House and Senate ag committees. There’s a strong feeling among Congressional ag members that the 2008 farm bill made cuts in farm programs and that further cuts would weaken the ag economy.