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AGRIBUSINESS: House Passes Nutrition Bill

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On a narrow vote of 217-210, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the second half of its farm bill Thursday, the standalone nutrition bill, opening the door for a House-Senate conference and progress on a five-year farm bill.

House Ag Chair Frank Lucas stressed the importance of keeping the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, working efficiently; the House bill cuts $4 billion annually from SNAP over the next 10 years.

Lucas' Democratic colleagues were less than enthused.

House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson called the bill another example of misplaced Republican priorities, and that there was no reason to pass it.

State Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow said she'd never seen partisanship on this scale injected into a farm bill, and that it was a shameful attempt to kick million of families in need off of SNAP..

Both Peterson and Stabenow doubted the bill's chances in the Senate, much less the President's desk, though Stabenow says the good news is a farm bill that much closer to the finish line.