News Release: Georgia House of Representatives
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) released a statement regarding the passage of a bill that funds our nation’s nutrition programs and provides Rural America a Farm Bill with the necessary tools and stability to continue producing the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food and fiber in the world. The conference agreement on H.R. 2642, the Agriculture Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week with a vote of 251 to 166, by the Senate today with a vote of 68 to 32, and will now go to the President for his signature. Congressman Bishop voted in favor of the bill.
“The Farm Bill is not just for farmers and those living in Rural America. It is for every American who eats, works, and lives in our great nation. Investments in broadband infrastructure and programs focusing on research, conservation, rural economic development, energy, forestry, trade, dairy, crops, and food policy contained in the Farm Bill affect all Americans by nature of the personal daily impact they have on our suburban, urban, and rural communities alike.
“The men and women who till the earth, raise the livestock, grow the timber, and ensure our food supply deserve the resources they need to build a solid foundation upon which to make sound financial decisions, develop improvements in their processes, and enhance the quality of their products. The bill reunites the traditional marriage between Farm and nutrition programs, strengthening both while resetting the precious balance of priorities for farmers and ranchers in Georgia and across the entire country. Additionally, I am particularly pleased with the bill’s provisions for poultry, cotton, and peanuts, which are three important Georgia products.
“While the Farm Bill we have passed is not perfect, I do believe that overall it strikes a reasonable balance. Though the legislation decreases Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments by $8.6 billion by closing a loophole in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in fifteen states and the District of Columbia, it is better than the draconian proposal of cutting $40 billion in SNAP funding. Though I sincerely empathize with the 850,000 families whose SNAP benefits will be decreased by $90 a month, passage of this legislation will continue critical assistance for 47 million Americans in need.
“Overall, the consensus brought to bear offers security and peace of mind to Rural America, strengthens the decades-old link between farm and nutrition programs, cuts the deficit over the next ten years, expands economic investment in Georgia communities, and provides an opportunity to improve efficiency of agriculture policy going into the future, maintain the social safety net, and protect a healthier quality of life for all Americans.”
For background and details regarding H.R. 2642, please click here.