U.S. House rejects farm bill

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. House rejected the five-year, $940 billion farm bill on June 20.

June 21, 2013

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. House rejected the five-year, $940 billion farm bill on June 20. The vote was 234-195 against the bill, with 62 Republicans voting against it. Most Democrats opposed the revised version because it cut spending on food stamps for low-income families by $20.5 billion over the next 10 years. Additionally, many conservative Republicans also opposed the bill because it didn’t cut spending enough.

The Senate overwhelmingly passed its version of the farm bill last week, with about $2.4 billion a year in overall cuts and a $400 million annual decrease in food stamps – one-fifth of the House bill's food stamp cuts. The White House was supportive of the Senate version but had issued a veto threat of the House bill.

If the two chambers cannot come together on a bill, farm-state lawmakers could push for an extension of the 2008 farm bill that expires in September or negotiate a new bill with the Senate and try again.

“The failure by the House leadership, for the second year in a row, to reach consensus on a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is a tremendous disappointment for all Americans,” stated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a release. “Twice now, the U.S. Senate has done its job and passed balanced, comprehensive legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the House version of this bill would have unfairly denied food assistance for millions of struggling families and their children, while failing to achieve needed reforms or critical investments to continue economic growth in rural America. As a result, the House was unable to achieve bipartisan consensus."

Washington Post article

Vilsack statement

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