Senator Chuck Grassley. (file photo)

A fight among House Republicans led to defeat of the Farm Bill when the legislation came up for a vote today.

Democrats had criticized the proposed Farm Bill because it includes a new work requirement for food stamp recipients who are in their 50s or the parents of school-aged children, but it was conservative Republicans in the U.S. House who defeated the bill for another reason. They were demanding an immediate vote on an immigration crack-down. Enough of them then cast a protest vote against the Farm Bill crafted by some of their fellow Republicans that the bill fell 15 votes short of passing.

The current Farm Bill expires September 30.

Senator Chuck Grassley is urging his fellow Republicans in the House to come up with “better” Farm Bill. Grassley, in a tweet, said the bill should deny federal farm subsidies to people who are not farmers and have merely invested in farmland.

Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, was the first member of Iowa’s delegation in the U.S. House to release a written statement after today’s vote.

“House Republicans today showed they care more about being partisan than passing a farm bill to support Iowa’s farmers and rural communities. In what has historically been done in a bipartisan manner with a rural-urban coalition, this farm bill has devolved into a partisan food fight,” Loebsack said.