House passes five-year Farm Bill

By WEEK Producer

House passes five-year Farm Bill

January 29, 2014 Updated Jan 29, 2014 at 3:59 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The House of Representatives has approved a five-year, $956 billion Farm Bill.

The measure passed easily, with a 251 to 166 vote but a majority of Democrats opposed it.

The legislation was more than a year in the making as negotiators struggled to overcome differences.

Democrats have complained about the more than $8 billion in cuts over ten years to the food stamp program.

Food assistance makes up about three quarters of the bill's spending.

The legislation requires households to receive at least $20 per year in home heating assistance before they automatically qualify for food stamps instead of the $1 required in some states.

The bill also eliminates a $4.5 billion a year subsidy program which offered direct payments to farmers but farmers of some major crops will still be insured by the government against losses.

The Senate could take up the bill as early as next week.