WASHINGTON (KSNW) - The 2018 Farm Bill passed the House on Thursday by just two votes. The Senate is now considering the bill, but it is unlikely to pass as is.
Democrats remain opposed to changes in the SNAP program -- what used to be known as food stamps.
"Ag is life. It is the lifeblood of the economy it is our identity," said Jodey Arrington, R-Texas.
Texas Republican Congressman Jodey Arrington says Thursday's vote gives farmers a little hope.
"There is not a more important piece of legislation for west Texas and rural economies than the farm bill," said Arrington.
Republicans cheered in the chamber after the House narrowly passed teh 2018 Farm Bill by just two votes.
Texas Republican Will Hurd says it was more a sigh of relief that Republicans were able to convince the renegades in their own party who killed the bill last month to now come on board.
What changed was political, was politics," said Hurd. "There were folks on the fringe that wanted something else and they were holding their vote for the farm bill hostage."
Those renegades, known as the Conservative Freedom Caucus, wanted a vote on immigration first, before the Farm Bill.
"They used the farm bill because they know how desperate times are for rural America and ag producers to get a vote, a guarantee from leadership that we have a vote on immigration," said Arrington.
The bill is expected to face another battle in the Senate. Some Democrats say the new work requirements added to the government food assistance program known as SNAP would leave millions of Americans hungry.
The Senate is expected to take up the House bill as early as next week.
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