MARY CLARE JALONICK
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has rejected a five year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose broad new work requirements on those who receive them.
The vote was 234-195 against the bill. Sixty-two Republicans voted no, while 24 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.
Members of both parties had signaled opposition to the food stamp cuts in the bill.
Many Republicans say the cuts are not enough; the food stamp 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 oppose any reductions in food stamps, contending that the House plan could remove as many as 2 million needy recipients from the rolls.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) released this statement on the defeat of the House Farm Bill:
"Today's unfortunate defeat of the House Farm Bill speaks to the dysfunction in Washington that continues to stand in the way of solving real problems for real Americans.
Agriculture is a critical industry in New York's 27th Congressional District, impacting our local residents far beyond those directly doing the hard work of farming. Our farmers and growers deserve a Congress that can come together and pass a long-term Farm Bill. It is essential to help our agricultural industry plan and prepare.
As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I remain committed to the work ahead to see a Farm Bill become law."