U. S. House lawmakers Thursday narrowly approved a farm bill that omitted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food - stamp, on which 48 million Americans rely.The 608 - page bill that passed on a 216-208 vote had no Democrat votes in favor, according to theNew York Times
.The measure was pushed through the House while it only focuses on farm programs and delays efforts to overhaul the country’s food - stamp program that has traditionally constituted 80 percent of spending in the bill.Republicans failed to pass a $500 billion farm bill last month that would have implemented the biggest cuts to the food - stamp program in decades. Thursday’s measure is considered a victory by the conservatives.The White House Wednesday said it would veto the farm bill due to the omission of SNAP
spending and lack of “sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms. "Rep. Frank D. Lucas, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, said he would try to draft a separate food stamp bill as soon as possible. But Republicans are determined to make deep cuts in the program.The GOP said the food stamp section would be dealt with separately at a later time, according to The Associated Press.Before the vote, House Speaker John A. Boehner said: “My goal right now is to get the farm bill passed. We’ll get to those other issues later. ”Thursday’s debate in the House was brutal. Democrats accused Republicans of being callous and cruel to remove a nutrition program that millions of American families rely on.Moreover, Democrats called the measure an implicit effort to make deep cuts in the food
stamp program.“A vote for this bill is a vote to end nutrition in America, ” said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.“Today’s vote is the latest smoking gun that the House majority isn’t truly interested in deficit reduction, ” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “They’re interested in supporting special interest groups over hungry Americans. ”This is the first time food stamps are not included in the farm bill since 1973. The current farm law will expire on September 30.