By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
In a close vote, the U.S. House passed an ag-only farm bill Thursday. For the first time, it cut out food aid, which left a standalone farm policy piece of legislation. The vote tally was 216-208.
The new House farm bill comes after the House turned down a five-year bill last month. A group of Republican lawmakers voted against the bill, as they hoped for deeper cuts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.
Republican leader’s strategy was to split the farm bill in two, to gain more conservative votes – dealing only with farm policy. Democrats fired back accusing the Republicans of turning the farm legislation into a partisan bill, which fails to protect America’s poor.
The Republican-controlled House defied a White House veto warning that was issued Wednesday. The Senate passed its own version of the farm bill earlier this month. Congress doesn’t have much time to pass a singular bill to garner the support of both houses of Congress. The 2008 farm bill extension ends Sept. 30th.