After a two-year standoff, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a controversial new version of the age-old farm bill.
Eighty-nine Democrats joined 162 Republicans to pass the nearly $1 trillion bill to finally end the stalemate — which Politico described as "a political saga largely ignored by the national press and White House but one that fractured the old farm and food coalition as never before." (Via Euronews)
While preserving most crop subsidies for the nation's farmers, the bill cuts food stamp funding by about $8 billion over the next 10 years — affecting some 850,000 households nationwide that used the federal program to buy food. (Via U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)
It's not quite what conservatives had hoped for. They'd originally proposed $39 billion in cuts over the decade, arguing the existing program had become too expensive. (Via USA Today)
Overall, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the deal reached will reduce the federal budget by more than $16 billion over the next decade.
After months of negotiations, Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee Frank Lucas called the deal reached — while not a miracle — "amazingly close" to one. (Via C-SPAN)
A writer at Bloomberg says, despite all the talk of partisan gridlock, the deal proves Congress can actually get something done. "The winning logic of combining nutrition support with agriculture programs into an unbeatable bipartisan combination prevailed."
The House bill now goes to the Senate, where it's expected to get final approval before heading to the president's desk.