House Republican leaders are taking a risky step as they try to bring a massive farm bill back to the floor, dropping food stamps from the legislation in the face of Democratic opposition.

The farm bill historically has been a vehicle for both oodles of farm subsidies and billions of dollars worth of food stamps. Twinning the two massive programs has in the past helped win support from rural-state lawmakers and those representing big cities. But after the bill failed in the House last month, Republican leaders are trying a different approach.

Teeing up a vote as early as Thursday, GOP leadership released a smaller version of the five-year bill late Wednesday. They dropped the section pertaining to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

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