WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. House of Representatives Thursday rejected a five-year farm bill that would have cut the food stamp program by more than $20 billion.
The 195-234 vote, a blow to the Republican leadership, won 24 Democratic votes but lost 62 Republicans tallies, The Hill said.
Republicans who voted no said the farm bill was too expensive considering the country has $17 trillion in debt.
The voting board was held open by GOP leaders, delaying the final tally, The Hill.
The vote is a blow to Republican leaders who didn't put a reauthorization bill before the membership last year, and who tried this year to come up with a way to set farm policy for the next five years.
Whether a farm bill would even be brought up this year was in doubt until Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he would vote for it.
The House vote muddies the waters about how Congress will proceed on farm policy, The Hill said. The Senate has passed a farm bill that does not cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- commonly known as food stamps -- as deeply as the House bill would have.