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Rep. Peter King: Defeat of farm bill was predictable

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A Republican congressman said Friday he voted against a pivotal, GOP-led amendment to the farm bill because he feared it would kill the whole bill.

Rep. Peter King, of New York, joined five House Republicans and a whopping 192 Democrats on Thursday in voting against the measure from Rep. Steve Southerland, Florida Republican, that would let states impose stricter work requirements on food-stamp recipients. But the amendment passed with broad support from the GOP majority.

“I voted against the Southerland amendment because I was concerned it would bring down the entire bill, which is what happened,” he said Friday through a spokesman.

Only 24 Democrats voted for the farm bill, saying Republican changes to the bill — on top of $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — were too much to swallow.

Members from both sides offered high praise for Mr. Lucas and Rep. Collin Peterson, Minnesota Democrat and ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, for crafting the bill in a bipartisan fashion, only to see it fail.

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