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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas says splitting the portion of the farm bill that deals with food stamps from the rest of legislation is essential if it comes back up for a vote in the House.

The freshman Republican lawmaker on Wednesday said dividing the bill would allow Congress to look at farm policy separately from food stamps. Cotton was the only House member from Arkansas to vote against the bill, which was defeated last month.

Cotton said he opposed the measure because it didn't do enough to cut costs in the food stamp program.

Cotton is widely viewed as a potential challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor next year. He's faced criticism from Democrats and farm advocates for opposing the bill.

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