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What You Should Know / June 21, 2011 -- The Republican-controlled House has spared farm subsidies from cuts while slashing food aid to the poor and programs such as rural development. The House on Tuesday voted 217-203 to approve a spending bill that cuts spending for the Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration by 13 percent for the budget year that starts Oct. 1, with much of the savings coming in international and domestic food aid, land-conservation programs and rural development. International food assistance programs would be cut by more than 30 percent. The bill fails to fund increased food inspection efforts authorized by Congress as a result of a sweeping overhaul of the FDA, which regulates products other than meat and poultry. "This bill answers the call from Americans to reduce government spending while still providing for critical programs that keep American agriculture competitive in a global economy," said the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Roger, R-Ky. In a victory for the farm lobby, the House rejected, 228-186, a cut that targeted wealthy farmers and landowners by tightening the eligibility limit for subsidies to $250,000 in adjusted gross income.

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