House narrowly passes farm bill after Republicans carve out food stamps

7/11/13
 
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from FoxNews,
7/11/13:

The House on Thursday narrowly passed a massive farm bill, after Republicans took the risky step of carving out the food stamp program — a move Democrats effectively boycotted.

The bill passed on a 216-208 vote. Zero Democrats voted for it.

House Democrats spent most of the afternoon lambasting their Republican colleagues for dropping the food stamp component, making clear that House Speaker John Boehner would need to rely on Republicans only to pass the bill. After some marathon nose-counting, GOP leaders were able to minimize the number of Republican defectors — just 12 Republicans voted against it on Thursday.

The farm bill historically has been a vehicle for both billions in farm subsidies and billions in food stamps. Twinning the two massive programs has in the past helped win support from rural-state lawmakers and those representing big cities. But after the bill failed in the House last month amid opposition from rank-and-file Republicans, House leaders removed the food stamp portion in a bid to attract conservative support.

The fate of the measure is unclear, though, as the matter now kicks back to the Senate or to a so-called conference committee to resolve differences between the two chambers’ bills. The Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly passed a farm bill with smaller cuts to food stamps, but would be reluctant to go along with a bill that carves out food stamps.

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