The farm bill, stripped of the food stamp provisions, passed the U.S. House by only eight votes, with no support from a single Democratic lawmaker. As a short-term tactic, that was successful. For the long term, that approach carries risks, since Democrats certainly could boost their numbers in the House in the future. The farm bill is too important to hinge on the partisan balance in Congress. Rural lawmakers need to make their case energetically and effectively for farm provisions, and urban lawmakers need to listen. And as a practical need, lawmakers need to be willing to compromise on the amount of food stamp funding.