by Alan Bjerga and Erik Wasson
An $867 billion farm bill was rejected in the U.S. House after GOP leaders were unable to quell a rebellion by a group of conservatives who were demanding a guarantee of a separate vote on legislation that would restrict legal immigration.
The failure to pass the farm legislation, which would have imposed new work requirements for food stamps and extended subsidies, is a blow to House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is being pressured by multiple Republican factions as they prepare to face re-election in November.
Lawmakers voted 198 to 213 to defeat the measure Friday after members of the Freedom Caucus, about three dozen conservative Republicans, rebuffed an offer from GOP leadership to schedule a June vote on a bill that would eliminate a diversity visa lottery and impose other limits in exchange for temporary protection for young undocumented immigrants.
The legislation is popular among rural Republicans but criticized by others in the party for what’s seen as wasteful farm-program and food-stamp spending.
The farm legislation, sponsored by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, survived an attempt add a provision to revamp a controversial sugar program. Some lawmakers, with support from candy-makers, unsuccessfully sought to eliminate production limits that keep sugar prices higher for growers.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at [email protected]
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