The House on Wednesday passed an $867 billion farm bill to help those in the agricultural industry, sending the legislation to President Trump for a signature.
The measure easily passed the lower chamber by a 369-47 vote after overwhelmingly passing the Senate the previous day, capping off months of negotiations.
The legislation expands farm subsidies and includes language legalizing hemp production. It also provides funding for farmers markets and programs for organic farmers, as well as authorizes funding for nutrition programs over the next five years.
Much to the dismay of conservatives, an earlier provision aimed at placing stronger work requirements for food stamps was not included in the final legislation. The measure had received strong support from House Republicans and President Trump.
Democrats strongly opposed the provision, arguing the change would be detrimental to the safety net relied upon by low-income earners.
The bill narrowly advanced to a floor vote Wednesday after language was tucked into a procedural rule blocking for the rest of the year a vote on any war powers resolution limiting U.S. involvement in Yemen.
The move sparked backlash from a number of lawmakers, and came hours before the Senate was poised to pass a resolution using the War Powers Act to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops in or “affecting” Yemen within 30 days, unless they are fighting al Qaeda.
Senators have broadly criticized the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen amid heightened tensions over the death of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) blasted the inclusion of the war powers provision in the farm bill rule, urging his colleagues to vote against the rule ahead of it coming to the floor.
“Mr. Speaker, I wanted to be able to vote for this rule today since I said I was going to support the underlying legislation, but my Republican friends screwed it up again,” McGovern said during floor debate.
“Because tucked inside this rule is language that turns off fast-track procedures for all Yemen resolutions through the end of this Congress. That’s right — the Republican leadership has declared that the worst humanitarian conflict in the world, where the [United Nations] has just announced famine is taking place due to the war, is not worth the time and attention of the people’s House.”
Lawmakers passed the farm bill legislation following months of negotiations, with Congress allowing the current farm bill to lapse on Sept. 30 after struggling to come to a consensus over changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Members said they saw December at their hard deadline to pass a new bill, as the majority of programs affected by the legislation don’t expire until the end of the month.
While stronger work requirements did not make it into the final text, the bill does make some changes to SNAP. Under the legislation, an interstate data system would be established to prevent multiple states from issuing SNAP benefits to the same individual simultaneously.