U.S. House Rejects Farm Bill

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2013)--The U.S. House Thursday rejected a five year, $500 billion farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually in food stamp program funding and allowed states to impose broad new work requirements on food stamp recipients.

The vote was 234-195 against the bill.

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

All three Central Texas congressmen, U.S. Reps. John Carter, R-Round Rock, Bill Flores, R-Bryan and Roger Williams, R-Weatherford, all voted in favor of the bill.

Members of both parties signaled opposition to the food stamp cuts in the bill.

Many Republicans argued that food stamp cuts weren’t deep enough.

The 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 opposed any reductions in food stamp funding, contending that the House plan could remove as many as 2 million needy recipients from the rolls.

Kenneth Dierschke, the president of the Waco-based Texas Farm Bureau, commended the members of the Texas delegation for voting in favor of the measure, which, he said, “would have provided a viable safety net for farmers across the nation.”

“Congress must not give up on this vital legislation,” he said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“Texas Farm Bureau will continue working with the House Agriculture Committee and Texas delegation to complete this bill and ensure essential risk management tools are in place to allow farmers certainty both now and in the future,” he said.

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