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Farm bill passes despite President Trump's food stamp preference

The House of Representatives passed a farm bill Wednesday, expected to cost $867 billion over 10 years, clearing the way for the bill to head to President Trump’s desk for signature.  

The lower chamber approved the bill by a 369-47 vote, following the Senate’s approval of the legislation by a 87-13 vote on Tuesday. Funding provided by the bill lasts over five years until 2023, reauthorizing $400 billion in U.S. agricultural subsidies and conservation programs. The bill also funds the country’s food stamp program “SNAP” for 40 million low-income Americans.

President Trump has said he prefers a different version of the bill than the one approved. A previous version proposed by the House tightened work requirements for food stamp eligibility, a measure that became unlikely to pass after Democrats won control of the House in midterm elections.

On Tuesday, the president told reporters, “I strongly support a common-sense work requirements in the food stamps in the farm bill. We’ll see if we can get that. The farmers would like to get that.”

OWINGS, MD – OCTOBER 19: Farmer Mark Catterton drives a John Deere Harvester while harvesting soybeans during his fall harvest on October 19, 2018 in Owings, Maryland. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“#FarmBill with SNAP work requirements will bolster farmers and get America back to work. Pass the Farm Bill with SNAP work requirements!” Trump tweeted in September.

The bill includes The Hemp Farming Act of 2018, which officially removes industrial hemp from the federal list of Schedule I controlled substances. The move is a boon to farmers reluctant to grow the crop under current U.S. law, given the industry’s growth to $820 million in 2017.

Also provided in the bill are provisions that permit hemp, barley, and hops to be covered by crop insurance. Subsidies for farm family members are expanded by the bill, broadening the definition of family members to include first cousins, nieces, and nephews. Resources for organic farming and bioenergy production are also included in the legislation.

Alexis Keenan is a New York-based reporter for Yahoo Finance. She previously produced live news for CNN and is a former litigation attorney. Follow her on Twitter at @alexiskweed

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