On one level, this result is no surprise: President Obama had threatened to veto the bill, objecting to its big cuts to food stamp programs. This House version of the bill would have cut food stamps by $20 billion, versus $4 billion in the version that passed the Senate.
Opposition came primarily from Democrats, with 172 voting no, but there was also opposition from the Tea Party and conservative Republicans: If the Republicans had corralled the 62 GOPers who voted against the bill, it would have passed.
The Hill has the best explanation so far of what happened: Apparently, Republican leaders thought they would get more Democrats to vote yes, and were “apoplectic” when things didn’t go as expected. Both conservative and liberal organizations issued press releases cheering the defeat.
Ding ding ding! Let the next round begin. This time, congressfolks, let’s try writing a farm bill that the president might actually sign.