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FILE - This May 15, 2013 file photo shows stacks of paperwork awaiting members of the House Agriculture Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, as it meets to consider proposals to the 2013 Farm Bill. The House has rejected a five year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
House rejects farm bill, 62 Republicans vote no
First Published Jun 20 2013 07:47 am • Last Updated Jun 20 2013 01:03 pm

WASHINGTON • The House has rejected a five year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them.

Those cuts weren’t deep enough for many Republicans who objected to the cost of the nearly $80 billion-a-year program, which has doubled in the past five years. The vote was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting against it.

At a glance

House rejects farm bill

VOTED DOWN » The House has rejected a five year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them.

GOP OPPOSITION » Sixty-two Republicans voted no, while 24 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

TOO BIG, OR VITAL? » Many Republicans say the cuts are not enough. The food stamp program has doubled in cost over the last five years to almost $80 billion a year and now helps to feed 1 in 7 Americans. Liberals contend that the House plan could remove as many as 2 million needy recipients from the rolls.

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The bill also suffered from lack of Democratic support necessary for the traditionally bipartisan farm bill to pass. Only 24 Democrats voted in favor of the legislation after many said the food stamp cuts could remove as many as 2 million needy recipients from the rolls. The addition of the optional state work requirements by an amendment just before final passage turned away any remaining Democratic votes the bill’s supporters may have had.

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, the senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said the work requirements, along with another vote that scuttled a proposed dairy overhaul, turned too many lawmakers against the measure.

"Our people didn’t know this was coming," Peterson said after the vote.

Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said the same, telling reporters the vote "turned out to be a heavier lift even than I expected. "

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., voted for the bill, but Boehner supported the dairy amendment and Cantor supported the amendment that imposed the work requirements.

Lucas and Peterson had warned that adoption of those amendments could contribute to the bill’s downfall.




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