DeLauro: “Congress Has Lost Its Way”
Bill Worsens Hunger for 1.7 Million; Revives Loophole for Millionaires, Billionaires
WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today decrying Farm Bill being voted on by the House of Representatives this morning. This version, known as the conference report, is the product of closed-door negotiations that reduces Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) benefits for 1.7 million Americans. It also reopens multiple farm subsidy loopholes that, had they stayed closed, would have reduced crop subsidies for millionaires and billionaires.
“Congress has lost its way. This conference report is nothing more than Reverse Robin Hood legislation that steals food from the poor in favor of crop subsidies for the rich. Nationwide, nearly 50 million people, including over 16 million children, are struggling with hunger. The estimates of Americans at risk of going hungry, here in the land of plenty, are appalling.
“Instead of working to end hunger, this Farm Bill takes food from the plates of 1.7 million Americans. Simultaneously, the negotiators have chosen, against the will of a majority of Congress, to re-open farm subsidy loopholes and strip out payment limits, so that millionaires and wealthy agribusinesses can continue to get handouts.
“Behind closed doors, negotiators more than doubled the annual cap on primary commodity payments, from $50,000 to $125,000. Then they reopened the loophole – closed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate – that allows large wealthy farmers to collect far more than the nominal payment limit. And they did this while cutting $8.5 billion from Food Stamps.
“I hope all my colleagues, in both parties, will stand up against the outrageously misplaced priorities in this Farm Bill. And I hope we can rekindle the strong bipartisan support that existed for decades for ending hunger in America. We have the ability, we have the means and we have the capacity to eliminate hunger in America. We only need the will to do what is right.