The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a stripped-down version of a farm bill, cutting food stamps from the sweeping legislation that guides farm policy for the next five years.

House Republicans earlier this week excised nutrition programs from the legislation. Those programs represented nearly 80 percent of the nearly $1 trillion bill, leaving only farm programs.

The effort was made, lawmakers said, to ensure that farm programs, including subsidies to farmers, continue when the current law expires at the end of September.

The Senate passed its version of a farm bill in June, but the House failed to pass its own version, largely because Democrats disapproved of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.

Food stamps and farm program were combined in the farm bill since the 1970s, as a way to get urban and rural lawmakers to reconcile on both farm programs and nutrition programs.

The bill was approved 216 to 208. No Democrats supported it.

Aside from the removal of the nutrition piece – a move that reduces the cost of the bill to about $200 billion over the next decade – the bill remains largely the same as the previous version of the bill. Like the Senate version, it ends the subsidies known as direct payments, but expands crop insurance.

The bill has been widely criticized by a number of groups, including leading farm groups.

“The ‘farm only’ farm bill passed today by House Republicans – over the objections of everyone from the American Farm Bureau to the Heritage Foundation – is, simply put, the most fiscally irresponsible piece of farm legislation in history,” said Scott Faber, of the Environmental Working Group, which is highly critical of subsidies. “This bill not only increases unlimited insurance subsidies, but also increases price guarantees for major crops and creates new subsidy programs for farm businesses.”

In farm country, reaction to the passage was mixed.

“We are concerned with the decision made by House leaders to split nutrition assistance programs from the traditional farm bill and repeal and replace permanent law governing agricultural programs,” said Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, in a statement.

“Both actions complicate negotiations with the Senate and will likely affect how farm bills are written in the future. Regardless, we remain committed to seeing a new law enacted and ask Congress to use the time remaining before the August recess to hash out the differences in the House and Senate-passed bills.”

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