The federal government is edging closer to approving an emergency aid package for farmers.

The aid plan, which the House of Representatives endorsed Friday on a 240-to-175 vote, would give an additional $8.7 billion in fiscal year 2000 to U.S. farmers, who have been plagued by low commodity prices and reduced demand overseas. The Senate is expected to vote on an identical bill this week, possibly as early as today.

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