House Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill

Senate expected to send it to president for signature
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 29, 2014 10:55 AM CST
House Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill
This Dec. 4, 2013 file photo shows Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., left, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla. on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (J. Scott Applewhite)

The House has passed an almost $100 billion-a-year, compromise farm bill that would make small cuts to food stamps and continue generous subsidies for the nation's farmers. The vote was 251-166. The five-year bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to send it to the president's desk. The measure had solid backing from the House GOP leadership, even though it makes smaller cuts to food stamps than they would have liked.

The bill would cut about $800 million a year from the $80 billion-a-year program, or around 1%. The House had sought a 5% cut. The legislation would continue to heavily subsidize major crops while eliminating some subsidies and shifting them toward more politically defensible insurance programs. Conservative Republicans in the House helped defeat an earlier version of the bill last summer, and some of those lawmakers hoped to do so again, but leaders scheduled a quick vote after the nearly 1,000-page bill was introduced Monday, giving opponents little time to build opposition. (More farm bill stories.)

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