Blunt Rochester Issues Statement on the Introduction of the House Republican Farm Bill

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Washington, April 12, 2018 | Kyle Morse (202-695-0494) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), member of the House Committee on Agriculture, issued the following statement on the introduction of the House Republican Farm Bill.

“When I came to Congress, my mission was to work across the aisle to create jobs and offer opportunities for Delawareans to thrive. It’s why I fought for a spot on the House Committee on Agriculture – a committee that has long prided itself on its bipartisan cooperation and an industry that impacts over 30,000 jobs in our state,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I am disappointed by the hardline stance the Majority has taken on this bill. Between record low farm incomes and the escalating threat of a trade war, farmers are already facing serious challenges. The Majority’s draft proposal released today puts the entire Farm Bill at risk and hurts those who rely on it, including our family farmers, land-grant institutions, and working families in need. In addition, preliminary reports estimate their changes to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) could result in a $20 billion reduction in SNAP benefits that will also drop one million people from the program.”

“The Majority says this bill increases access to SNAP and will ensure better nutrition, but their extreme work-requirement changes fail to account for the real-world challenges families face in obtaining a job, like securing access to affordable child care and transportation. Republicans ignored the recommendation of 89 witnesses at 23 nutrition hearings in favor of creating a massive, nationwide bureaucracy that has no foundation in evidence-based research and without waiting on the results from 10 pilot programs across the country, including Delaware.”

“When I was Delaware Secretary of Labor, I worked to connect people with good paying jobs, and as Deputy Secretary of Delaware Health and Social Services, I oversaw and administered safety net programs, like SNAP. Based on my experiences working in those agencies, I do not believe this bill will accomplish the workforce development goals it sets out. By cutting the amount we invest in workforce training within the SNAP program, not only are Republicans pulling the rug out from underneath those looking to lift themselves out of poverty, they are also risking the food security of millions. I encourage my colleagues across the aisle to remember the great work this committee has done on a bipartisan, cooperative basis, and I urge them to work with all members to make smart, inclusive policy decisions that strengthen the Farm Bill and protect this vital safety net for all Americans.”

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