Democrats’ House takeover spurs hope for farm bill this year

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prospects have improved for Congress to pass a bipartisan farm bill before the end of the year after Democrats secured the House majority during the midterm elections.

House GOP insistence on stricter work requirements for food stamps has been the biggest stumbling block holding up an agreement. The version that passed the House with no Democratic votes includes the tougher rules. The bipartisan version that won Senate approval does not, and few Senate Republicans want them.

Observers say it’s likely that House Republicans will now be ready to pass a compromise during the upcoming lame duck session rather than starting the process over in a Democratic-controlled House and risking a result that they would like even less.

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