Farm Bill Squeaks By in Win for GOP Leaders

July 12, 2013

House GOP leaders took a big gamble Thursday in bringing a farm bill without food stamps to the floor, and it paid off — just barely.

The House passed the bill 216-208, inching across a 213-vote threshold without a single Democrat supporting the measure.

Twelve Republicans voted against the measure: Justin Amash of Michigan, Paul Cook of California, Ron DeSantis of Florida, John J. Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Trent Franks of Arizona, Phil Gingrey of Georgia, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey, Tom McClintock of California, Matt Salmon of Arizona and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

Before the vote, House Agriculture ranking member Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota told CQ Roll Call, “I was told in the gym this morning they don’t have the votes and I just heard now they’re a couple votes short.”

Republicans did have the votes, but the bill initially looked like it could suffer yet another surprise defeat, similar to when the first farm bill — which included food stamp provisions that cut more than $20 billion from the program — fell 195-234 a month ago.

Conservative groups Club for Growth and Heritage Action both key voted against the bill, joining other major farm groups in pushing for its demise.

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