WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Friday rejected a Republican-backed $868 billion farm bill.
The lower chamber defeated the measure in a 213-198 vote. All Democrats voted no as did 30 Republicans.
The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 would have made large cuts to the food stamp program. It would have required able-bodied-adults aged 18-59 to either be employed or receive employment training for at least 20 hours per week to receive food stamps.
Throughout the week passage was in doubt.
Democrats railed against the food stamp cuts as did some moderate Republicans.
Some Republicans and Democrats who represent rural states expressed concern that the $26 billion cut to commodity crops would hurt farmers.
The defeat of an amendment to weaken the U.S. Sugar Program, which provides subsidies to help domestic crops sell above their market value, did not deliver the additional votes Republican leaders had hoped for.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus followed through with a threat to withhold their votes until GOP leaders agreed to hold a vote on a hard-line immigration bill. A reported promise to hold the vote in June did not assuage the group.
Democrats celebrated the bill’s defeat.
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) May 18, 2018
Proud of my colleagues for stopping the #GOPFarmBill, which just failed in the House 198 to 213. I hope the #GOP will now work with us on a bipartisan Farm bill that protects America’s working families and children. #ProtectSNAP #HandsOffSNAP
— James E. Clyburn (@Clyburn) May 18, 2018
The Senate is considering a farm bill that appears to have bipartisan support.