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Rep. Marcia Fudge Gives Opening Remarks During Farm Bill Conference Committee Meeting

Rep. Marcia Fudge Gives Opening Remarks During Farm Bill Conference Committee Meeting

(as written) 



“Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.


“My colleagues, I know it will not be easy to reconcile the differences between the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill; yet that is exactly what the American people are counting on us to do.   Farmers and families across America deserve certainty and stability.  So, let's work across party lines to produce a comprehensive Farm Bill that recognizes the undeniable link between feeding and farming.


“I am concerned the House bill attempts to deny the fact that one is dependent on the other.


“According to CBO, the House bill cuts more than $17 billion from SNAP over the next ten years; 1.2 million adults will lose benefits due to unrealistic and unproven work schemes; 400,000 working families will lose benefits; and 265,000 children risk losing eligibility for free and reduced-price school meals as a result of the elimination of broad-based categorical eligibility.


“Just as we should not turn our backs on farmers seeking relief from a downturn in the farm economy – we must not turn our backs on hungry Americans.  SNAP is an essential lifeline for our vulnerable citizens.


“As Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, I am committed to ensuring the next farm bill invests in conservation programs that our nation’s farmers and communities need.  Working lands conservation programs, including CSP and EQIP allow participants to improve soil health and water quality in places like the Great Lakes, while maintaining productive, profitable farmlands.


“I am relieved the Senate bill not only protects both programs, but makes critical policy improvements to increase access to and effectiveness of EQIP and CSP.


“Lastly: Support for the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program; and for urban agriculture initiatives remain a priority. 


I look forward to working toward a collaborative solution.


“Mr. Chairman, I yield back.”