WASHINGTON-Bruised from the defeat of a massive farm bill last month, Republicans are giving the legislation another chance by bringing a pared-down version to the House floor.
GOP leaders were still counting how many votes they could muster for the new measure, which drops the politically sensitive food stamp portion of the bill, when they released the legislation late Wednesday. The White House swiftly issued a veto threat, and House Democrats reacted angrily to the last-minute move. A vote is expected Thursday.
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The dropped section would have made a 3 percent cut to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. Many Republicans say that isn’t enough since the program’s cost has doubled in the last five years. Democrats have opposed any cuts.
The White House said food stamps should not be left out of the bill. The Obama administration had also threatened to veto the original bill, saying it did not include enough reductions to farm subsidies and the food stamp cuts were too severe.
Republicans are proposing a measure containing only farm programs, with a food stamp bill to come at a later date. Farm groups, anti-hunger groups and conservative groups have all opposed the idea, for different reasons.
Read more at Official Wire. By Mary Clare Jalonick