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House Rejects Five-Year Farm Bill

The House Farm Bill was defeated Thursday by a margin of 234-195 as Democrats who rejected work requirements and cuts to food stamp spending programs and Republicans who thought the bill was excessive spending failed to support the final package, which would have gone to the Senate and a conference committee.

The bill had been considered a leading bipartisan measure, with many members from both caucuses in the House and Senate actively engaged and determined to find a compromise before the one-year Farm Bill extension expires this fall. Thursday marks the second time that the House has been unable to pass the measure in the past two years.

Prior to the vote, the Obama administration had said that the $20 billion in cuts to the food stamp program was too severe, and the bill did not do enough to overhaul crop insurance and other farm subsidies.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had insisted on an amendment to put a work requirement into programs for food stamps, which turned away many Democratic votes on the floor.