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Controversial Farm Bill falls in the U.S. House, divides NC Congressional delegation

Members of the U.S. House on Friday rejected (198-213) the $867 Billion farm bill with members of the Freedom caucus helping Democrats get the votes needed to defeat the bill.

All House Democrats voted against the massive piece of legislation amid concerns it would seriously undercut the Supplemental Nutrition Program, also known as SNAP.

As the Budget & Tax Center’s Brian Kennedy reported on the Progressive Pulse earlier this week, passage of the farm bill would have taken food away from at least 133,000 North Carolinians.  Kennedy also noted that North Carolina is ranked the 10th hungriest state in the nation.

Democrats who spent the week working to defeat the measure ironically were aided by members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who balked after failing to get deeper spending cuts and concessions on immigration legislation.

As USA Today explained:

Friday’s vote was an embarrassing defeat for [Speaker] Ryan, R-Wis., who had championed the farm bill as a major step toward welfare reform but saw the measure squelched by members of his own Republican conference. Thirty Republicans voted against House leadership bill.

Ryan and other GOP leaders will now have to grapple with the volatile issue of immigration to satisfy arch-conservatives who want the House to vote on a hardline measure that would slash legal immigration and authorize construction of President Trump’s border wall.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus demanded a vote on the immigration proposal before the House voted on the farm bill. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Republican leaders had failed to make good on promises to deal with the immigration issue, and their only point of leverage to get a solution was to hold up the farm bill.

Here’s how the full North Carolina delegation voted:

Nay
Rep. G.K. Butterfield – 1st District
Rep. Walter Jones – 3rd District
Rep. David Price – 4th District
Rep. Mark Meadows – 11th District
Rep. Alma Adams – 12th district
Rep. Ted Budd – 13th District

Yea
Rep. George Holding – 2nd District
Rep. Virginia Foxx – 5th District
Rep. Mark Walker – 6th District
Rep. David Rouzer – 7th District
Rep. Richard Hudson – 8th District
Rep. Robert Pittenger – 9th District
Rep. Patrick McHenry – 10th District

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