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House passes farm bill including work requirements for food stamp recipients

The House of Representatives narrowly passed a farm bill, after initial opposition from the conservative Freedom Caucus. The bill would increase work requirements for food stamp recipients. (2007 file photo/Mark Hirsch/Getty Images)

The House of Representatives narrowly passed a farm bill on Thursday by a vote of 213-211. The bill would increase work requirements for food stamp recipients, and earmarked billions for state education and job training programs.

What are the details?

Although most of them eventually voted for it, members of the conservative Freedom Caucus had initially opposed this bill. A senior conservative aide in the House told TheBlaze that the caucus members had been holding out on supporting this farm bill until they could ensure a vote on Rep. Bob Goodlatte's (R-Va.) "Securing America's Future Act."

Goodlatte's immigration bill did come up for a vote on Thursday. However, it failed to pass Congress by a vote of 193-231. This immigration bill is not the same as the one championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which is scheduled to be up for a vote on Friday.

An updated version of the farm bill must be passed every five years.

What did this bill include?

This bill included work requirements for food stamp recipients, which earned it the opposition of Democrats in Congress. If this bill becomes law, able-bodied adults would be required to work or take part in state-run work training programs for at least 20 hours each week in order to qualify for food stamps. Around 42 million Americans currently get $125 worth of credit for groceries per month in food stamps.

It also shrinks the Conservation Stewardship Program and includes protections for the U.S. sugar industry.

The Senate has already criticized the House's food stamp requirements. The Senate Agriculture Committee released its own, bipartisan version of the farm bill on June 8, which would leave food stamp programs untouched.

How did they vote?

Every Democratic member of the House voted against this bill, and 20 Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with them. However, the remaining 213 Republicans still had the votes to pass the bill.

One last thing…
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