U.S. House OKs Scaled-Down Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (July 11, 2013)--The U.S. House passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill Thursday, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after the decisive defeat of the larger bill last month.

The GOP leaders scrambled to get the bill to the floor Thursday and gather enough votes this week after making a decision to drop a politically sensitive food stamp section of the bill and pass legislation that contained only farm programs.

The plan faced opposition from Democrats, farm groups and conservative groups, but Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia navigated his colleagues to a 216-208 vote by convincing Republican members that this was the best chance to pass the bill and erase the embarrassment of the June defeat.

Texas Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke said in a statement Thursday that the farm bureau supported passage of the bill, but not “the process by which this bill came to the floor today.”

“Farmers and ranchers need the certainty of a five-year farm bill and passage of HR 2642 today can get us closer to that goal,” he said.

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