House rejects farm bill


The House of Representatives on Thursday voted down a bill to drastically reduce food stamp benefits to needy families.

The House has rejected 195-234 the five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that would have cut $2 billion annually from the program. It would have also let states impose new work requirements on recipients.

Members of both parties had signaled opposition to the food stamp cuts in the bill. Many Republicans say the cuts were not enough.

The food stamp program has doubled in cost over the last five years to almost $80 billion a year. Most Democrats oppose any reductions in food stamps, contending that the House plan could take meals away from as many as 2 million needy recipients.

Currently the food stamps program helps to feed one in seven Americans.

In a statement, the Indiana Farm Bureau said it was disappointed by the vote, saying in part:

"We understand that this piece of legislation isn't perfect, but very few comprehensive proposals are. Farm Bureau believes securing a strong safety-net is critical for the future of Indiana's farmers and will continue to work for reforms that reduce spending and protect farmers when they need it most."