Passing the House of Representatives by a comfortable 251-166 margin, the Agricultural Act of 2014, known as the farm bill, saw both bipartisan support and opposition.
Democrats who opposed the bill did so because they felt nutrition programs were cut too much, while Republicans who cast “no” votes wanted greater cuts to those programs, political observers said.
The Jan. 29 House roll call vote shows 162 Republicans and 89 Democrats voted for the bill, while 63 Republicans and 103 Democrats voted against it. Six Republicans and eight Democrats did not vote.
California Republican members of the House were split almost evenly, with six out of fifteen voting no and a seventh not voting.
Most California Democrats in the House of Representatives — 22 out of 38 — voted no on the farm bill, led by the delegations from Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
However, all California Central Valley agricultural district members voted for the bill. Republican Reps. Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes and Doug LaMalfa, and Democratic Reps. Jerry McNerney, Jim Costa and John Garamendi all voted for the bill.
Costa, D-Calif., said in the House floor debate that provisions that provide “dramatic investment in specialty crops” was a reason for his support of the conference report.
“This farm bill is a dramatic investment in many of the specialty crops for research, for market production and the development programs which benefit our vegetable and fruit producers, which produce over half the nation’s supply,” he said on the floor.
In Florida, 11 out of 15 Rebublican representatives voted for the bill. Seven out of 10 Florida Democrats supported it.
In Texas, six out of 12 Democratic representatives voted for the farm bill. Republican support was stronger, with 18 out of 24 Texas Republicans voting yes on the farm bill.