House passes farm bill, cuts food stamps by $8 billion

The long-overdue bill passed on a bipartisan vote and is expected to clear the Senate and be signed by Obama

Published January 29, 2014 8:45PM (EST)

After nearly two years of stasis and bickering, the House of Representatives passed a nearly $1 trillion farm bill on Wednesday with a bipartisan majority.

The final vote was 251-166, with only 63 Republicans registering their disapproval.

A majority of Democrats, however, voted against the bill, primarily due to the roughly $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps. Yet even this cut is considerably smaller than the $39 billion Republicans in the House initially wanted to see shaved from the program.

“This bill will make hunger worse in America, not better,” said Democratic Rep. James McGovern, the leader of the House Democrats' push to avoid cuts to food stamps. "If this bill passes, thousands and thousands of low-income Americans will see their already meager food benefit shrink."

The bill is nevertheless fully expected to pass in the Senate later this week, and White House spokesperson Jay Carney is on-record saying that if it maintains its current form, President Obama will sign it into law.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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