By a thin margin today the House version of the five-year farm bill authorization failed 195-234 with 218 votes necessary for passage. One of the deciding elements in the debate of this bill centered around the level and severity of the cuts to the nutrition programs with both parties critical of the proposal that was presented in the bill: From one perspective, many Democrats spoke out saying that the farm bill should not pass because the cuts to nutrition programs were too severe with Democratic members offering several amendments - all beaten back - to reduce the size of the cuts provided in the bill. On the other end of the political spectrum, a core of mostly Republican members argued that the same cuts to nutrition spending were not significant enough, as well as indicating that reforms to farm support programs were not deep enough. While other issues were debated and important, it appears that this combination of forces led to a divided House failing to pass the farm bill.
The Senate passed its version on June 10. The current farm bill expires on October 1, 2013.
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