Farm Bill Passes In House, Without Food Stamp Funding

Source: Ed O’Keefe / The Washington Post

House Republicans successfully passed a Farm Bill Thursday by splitting apart funding for food stamps from federal agricultural policy, a move that infuriated the White House and congressional Democrats who spent most of the day trying to delay a final vote.

Lawmakers voted 216 to 208 make changes to federal agricultural policy and conservation programs and end direct subsidy payments to farmers. But the measure says nothing about funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which historically constitutes about 80 percent of the funding in a Farm Bill.

No House Democrat voted for the measure. Twelve Republicans also opposed it. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voted in favor of it, even though speakers traditionally don’t vote.

The vote made clear that Republicans intend to make significant reductions in food stamp money and handed Republican leaders a much-needed victory three weeks after conservative lawmakers and rural state Democrats revolted and blocked the original version of the bill that included food stamp money.

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