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U.S. House votes to negotiate with Senate on overdue farm bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on Friday to open negotiations with the Democratic-run Senate on a $500 billion farm bill that is one year behind schedule, with food stamps as the dividing issue.

The House wants to cut food stamps for the poor by $39 billion, nearly 10 times the cut proposed by the Senate. Work on the farm bill was delayed repeatedly by demands from Tea Party-influenced Republicans for big cuts in the premier U.S. anti-hunger program. The bill also would expand the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance program by up to 10 percent.

(Reporting by Charles Abbott; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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