In a surprising move, the U.S. House of Representatives voted the $940 billion farm bill down on Thursday. The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) bill, a 620 some-odd page document touching on nearly every aspect of food and fiber production and welfare benifits, was expected to pass both the House and Senate with few issues.
The Washington Post reports the farm bill proposal failed in the House with 234 members voting against it – 62 Republicans and 172 Democrats. 195 members voted for the bill, all but 24 being Republicans.
However, a similar version of the bill passed last week in the Senate, with 66 senators in favor and 27 opposing, according to the Washington Post.
House Democrats opposed the bill due to its cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as “food stamps.” And although the measure called for deeper cuts in food stamp programs than its counterpart in the Senate, according to the New York Times, they were not enough to win Republican support. Nearly a quarter of the Republican caucus voted with the Democrats to defeat the bill. ‚Ä®
The House version of the bill included $20.5 billion in cuts on food stamps for low-income families over the next 10 years according to the Washington Post. ‚Ä®‚Ä®Now House Republicans will either have to draft a new version, or possibly go to conference without a bill and negotiate a working document with the Senate. The Washington Post reports a similar scenario played out last year when the house failed to pass the highway bill.
Learn more about the farm bill and how it could affect your community here.