House passes farm bill without food stamp measure - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

House passes farm bill without food stamp measure

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WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- The House narrowly passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill Thursday.

The Republican bill would expand a crop insurance program, but does not include food stamps for the poor, putting off a fight over food stamp spending.

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 get the bill passed and erase the embarrassment of the June defeat.

"I think it is a really bad mistake on their part," Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, said. "And part of how we've been able to pass farm legislation in the Senate on a broad bipartisan basis, is by recognizing the sort of urban-rural partnership that exists in that legislation."

The Republican bill is unlikely to pass in the senate, and even if it does, President Obama has already threatened a veto.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte issued the following statement on Thursday about the Farm Bill:  

 

“No matter how many legislative twists and turns, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation remains committed to meaningful reform within the next U.S. farm bill.
 
Here in Wisconsin, agriculture represents over $59 billion in annual economic activity. The next farm bill must provide the flexibility and certainty for livestock and crop growers to manage their own risk, while making market-based decisions that positively impact the fiscal health of their farms, and our state and local economies.

 

Wisconsin Farm Bureau members have been seeking true farm policy reform for years. While today’s vote in the House was far from an ideal process, we ask that politics be laid aside as a conference committee seeks consensus on a farm bill that can be signed into law.     

We still see this as a real opportunity to transform our farm bill into policies that reflect agriculture’s future.” 

 

 

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