House fails to pass farm bill; how Congress can pass legislation - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

House fails to pass farm bill; what it will take to pass legislation this year

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The House Farm Bill failed to pass Thursday, with a vote of 234-195 against the bill. 

Both democrats and republicans voted against—62 republicans voted against the bill, saying they believe the three percent cut to the food stamp program wasn't enough. 

Only 24 democrats voted in favor of the bill as many felt the bill cut too many needy recipients from the program. 

Representative Kristi Noem voted for the bill, saying she is very disappointed that politics prevented the house from reaching an agreement on the farm bill. 

She says the failed vote was a surprise to her and other members of the House Agricultural committee who approved the bill 36-10. 

Noem says the house leadership is looking into several options to keep the farm bill legislation moving forward. 

In the traditional route for legislation, the farm bill that passed in the Senate this June would go to the House committee, if approved, it would then be sent to the House floor for a vote.  If that were approved, it would go to the President to be signed into law. 

However, Noem says legislation rarely works that way in Washington. 

"Traditionally, we will generate our own legislation and send it to conference with the senate bill. I'm sure that's one of the decisions that the leadership team is weighing right now, another one could potentially be another extension," said Noem. 

What ever decision the House leadership makes, the most likely route for passing farm bill legislation will take a little longer. 

The House will need to approve something—right now that could mean going back to the drawing board on the farm bill or attempting to pass the bill with out amendments. 

After the House has passed some version of the farm bill, the approved Senate version and House version would go to a conference with leaders from both chambers. 

Whatever compromise comes out of that conference would then go back to each chamber for approval. 

If both the House and Senate approved the conference version of the bill, only then would it go to the President for approval. 

Getting that presidential approval could also be a challenge; Noem believes the President's threat to veto the House farm bill is largely responsible for Thursday's failed vote. 

"The president really weighed in with the democratic members and lobbied them against the farm bill.  We lost a lot of democrats that we thought were going to support the bill and traditionally in the past have supported the farm bill," said Noem. 

Noem hopes the House will be able to put politics aside and come to an agreement soon.  She says the farm bill is essential for thousands of Americans, including many farmers and people here in South Dakota.

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