Updated 2:31 p.m. | Almost six months after the farm bill went down on the floor in partisan flames and GOP whip counts necessitated a variety of political maneuvers just to get the measure to conference, the House on Wednesday morning finally passed a five-year reauthorization of the nation's agriculture and nutrition programs. The fiercely negotiated farm bill conference report cleared the threshold for passage. Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, one of the key negotiators of the conference report, was on the House floor during the vote. The final vote was 251-166. Republican and Democratic leaders supported the conference report, conceding that any imperfections outweighed the imperative that a farm bill finally get signed into law.
It didn't stop defections, however, from rank-and-file members on both sides of the aisle. The bill would not have been able to pass without Democratic support, with 63 Republicans voting no. Democrats were split nearly in half, with many opposing any cuts to the food stamp program.