Farm Bill response from Rep. Jared Huffman

Farm Bill 101: Alot of bad provisions including stripping all pesticide regulations from states and local communities’ for the benefit of chemical companies.

Huffman: Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about the Farm Bill. I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.

As you may know the Farm Bill authorizes a wide variety of federal programs related to agriculture and food policy. Despite its name, the policies affected by the Farm Bill reach beyond American farms, impacting land conservation, rural economic development, and nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Many of our North Coast farmers, ranchers, and food producers participate in these programs, as do many families, food banks, conservation organizations, and others. The first Farm Bill was enacted in 1933 and since then, Congress has debated, updated, and reauthorized the legislation every five years or so. Without this re-authorization process, many Farm Bill programs would expire or revert back to 1940s-era management.

In April 2018, the Republican majority in the House Agriculture Committee approved a deeply flawed Farm Bill on a party-line vote that cut the nutrition assistance program known as SNAP by nearly $20 billion. Forty million Americans currently rely on SNAP, and it has proven to help struggling families overcome food insecurity and poverty. The 2018 Farm Bill also includes a work requirement for SNAP recipients that could threaten essential benefits for millions of people, especially older Americans or those with chronic conditions. In addition to the SNAP cuts that will leave more Americans hungry, the bill cuts $800 million from conservation programs and strips away important environmental programs such as a requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency review agricultural pesticides to ensure they do not harm endangered species. The bill also slashes hundreds of millions of dollars from job-creating rural development initiatives and loan guarantees for small businesses.

As a testament to the flawed nature of the bill, the House majority could not initially pull together enough votes to pass the bill in May 2018. Unfortunately, however, the 2018 Farm Bill was brought up for a second vote in June when it narrowly passed by just two votes. Nevertheless, please know that the fight is not over for a better and fairer Farm Bill. I am committed to protecting and expanding SNAP, supporting rural communities, enhancing environmental stewardship, and fostering agricultural reform so that we can end food insecurity and malnutrition in our country. I discussed these goals on a recent podcast with a few of my colleagues who are leaders on these issues; I encourage you to listen to our conversation here: <span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” underline;=”” #0000ff;’=””>https://medium.com/@RepHuffman/farm-bill-priorities-w-reps-jim-mcgovern-chellie-pingree-3c0d253a93ab.<span “times=”” new=”” roman”‘;=”” underline;=”” #0000ff;’=””>  I have also introduced a bill, the Farmers CARE Act, to reshape a key federal farm program known as EQIP to improve water and air quality, soil and wildlife habitat, while supporting and improving agricultural operations. My bill would make sure the program works for more producers and better conservation outcomes.

Thank you again for sharing your views on this issue. The people of California’s 2nd District are the most important voices I listen to while serving in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you in the future.

1https://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-the-supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

 

Sincerely,


Jared Huffman
Member of Congress


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