The U.S. House missed a chance to overhaul the nation’s agricultural programs when it failed to approve the new farm bill earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said Friday.
“Chairman (Frank) Lucas, along with members of the House Committee on Agriculture, worked tirelessly over the last four years to produce a bill that makes significant reductions to spending while protecting necessary programs,” the Oklahoma Republican said in a written statement. “After more than 40 hearings and even a two-year audit of every program, there is no excuse for this failure.”
The House voted Thursday to reject the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, which would have cut $2 billion annually from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and allowed states to impose new work requirements on food stamp recipients, the Associated Press reported. The news service said those cuts weren’t deep enough for Republicans who objected to the cost of the $80 billion food stamp program, which has doubled in the past five years.
The House rejected the bill on a 234-195 vote, with 62 Republicans voting against it, according to the Associated Press. Only 24 Democrats voted in favor of the measure after many said that cutting food-stamp spending could take up to 2 million needy Americans off the rolls.
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