A closely-watched farm bill was rejected by the House 213-198 on Friday, as conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus joined Democrats in opposition as a protest of GOP leadership refusing to bring an immigration bill to a vote. "The vast majority of our members believe that we should have a vote on immigration before we have a vote on the farm bill," said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the leader of the caucus, despite the fact that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has promised to bring the conservative immigration legislation to the floor in June, The Hill reports.
The Freedom Caucus' defiance was a blow to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and McCarthy, who seemed to believe they had enough support to pass the bill when they went into the vote, says CBS News' Ed O'Keefe. The opposition on the floor reportedly broke out in cheers "when the results were announced."
The five-year, $867 billion bill was opposed by the block of Democrats because of a Republican provision that would impose work requirements for the 40 million users of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps.