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Pingree Statement on Republican Farm Bill Draft

Washington, DC, April 12, 2018

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, released the following statement on the draft Farm Bill released by House Republicans today. 

The draft Farm Bill released today leaves much to be desired, to say the least. Written behind closed doors with little to no input from Democrats, it is the product of a frustratingly partisan process.

Provisions to weaken SNAP food assistance would be particularly harmful to our families and communities. While myths about widespread SNAP abuse abound, hunger is the real issue our country faces. In Maine, nearly 16 percent of our population doesn’t have access to enough food—that includes 1 in 5 children. No matter how my colleagues try to gloss things over, making it more difficult for these folks to get assistance is only going to make a bad situation even worse. 

In other ways, this legislation leaves our country’s farmers ill prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the next five years.  It’s a stark contrast to the GOP tax cuts that will benefit the wealthiest of the wealthy at everyone else’s expense over the coming decade.

Thankfully, this draft is just a first step in a longer process. Because of the partisan way it was written, I think it will have major difficulties getting a majority vote in the House, if it makes it through the Agriculture Committee at all. I will continue fighting for a better bill that doesn’t leave our farmers and most vulnerable behind.

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