House Explores Options after Farm Bill Rejected

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House's broad rejection of a massive farm bill could signal a shift in the way Congress views agriculture policy.

Farm issues once had enormous clout on Capitol Hill, but the healthy agriculture economy and an increased interest in cutting spending have worked against farm-state lawmakers who are trying to push a farm bill through for a third year in a row.

The five-year, half-trillion dollar measure would have expanded some subsidies while saving more than $4 billion annually overall. It included a 3 percent cut in the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

The vote Thursday was 234-195. Sixty-two Republicans voted against the measure, arguing it was too expensive.

After the vote, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma said the committee is assessing its options.

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