House GOP drops food stamps from massive farm bill

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By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders hoping to quickly recover from an embarrassing defeat on the House floor last month are preparing to split a massive farm bill in two and put it up for a vote as early as Thursday.

GOP leadership released a smaller version of the five-year bill late Wednesday, dropping a controversial section of the legislation that would have made small cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. Republicans are divided on how big cuts should be to food stamps, which have doubled in cost in the last five years. Democrats have opposed any cuts.

Republicans have been counting votes for the bill containing only the farm programs over the last two days. Farm groups, anti-hunger groups and conservative groups have all opposed the idea.

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