WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today voted 234-195 against the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, its version of a five-year Farm Bill.
Industry groups had expected the bill to pass, and House Speaker John Boehner had announced support for the bill in recent days.
“We felt we had a very strong bill for specialty crops that was supported by members from both sides of the aisle,” Robert Guenther, United Fresh senior vice president of public policy, said in a statement. “We strongly encourage the House Leadership and the House Agriculture Committee to get back together and bring back to the House floor a bill that can pass before the current extension expires at the end of September.”
The House bill differed widely from the Senate version that passed earlier this month in areas such as cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, known as food stamps, and certain agricultural program reforms.
Farm Bill negotiations broke down in 2012 after the House failed to pass a bill, resulting in an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill pushed through as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations in January.
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