GOP-led House narrowly passes farm bill

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The Republican-led House has narrowly passed a sweeping farm bill that would toughen work requirements for food stamp recipients.

The bill passed 213-211.

Democrats opposed the measure, saying it would toss too many people off government food assistance. The measure renews the safety net for farmers as President Donald Trump‘s tough talk on tariffs threatens to close markets for many of their products.

The vote Thursday marked the House’s second attempt to pass a farm bill. GOP leaders suffered an embarrassing setback in May when 30 GOP members opposed passage in an effort to get a vote on immigration legislation.

The House bill sets up a certain clash with the Senate, which looks to make mostly modest adjustments to existing programs and doesn’t pick a food stamps fight.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Missouri, released the following statement in reaction to the bill moving forward.

“Having grown up raising hogs and cattle, I understand how hard farmers work day in and day out to put food on our tables and on the shelves of our grocery stores,” said Congressman Luetkemeyer. “Under the leadership of Chairman Conaway, the Farm Bill prioritizes rural America and provides our farmers with the certainty they need. This bill protects crop insurance, requires the USDA to establish forward-looking broadband standards, and prioritizes development initiatives to promote job creation and economic growth in rural areas. I voted in support of this bill to ensure stability for our Missouri farmers and strengthen our rural communities, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this critical legislation.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, also released a statement.

“Missouri farmers work hard every day to feed the world, and they need the certainty that this farm bill provides. This bill ensures the American consumer continues to enjoy the safest, most abundant food supply in the world by strengthening safeguards and improving public/private risk management programs that are vital to American agriculture. In addition, the Farm Bill makes significant investments in rural broadband, promotes trade, invests in research and development, and expands conservation acreage.

“This bill contains historic improvements to the SNAP program to help recipients break the cycle of poverty by improving work opportunities for able-bodied adults receiving federal nutrition assistance. This bill promotes work and individual success while empowering those dependent on government assistance. These common-sense improvements will reduce unemployment and help people move from dependency to independence and self-sufficiency.”

Republished with permission from the Associated Press.