Skip to Content

Press Releases

Ranking Member David Scott Opening Statement at Partisan Farm Bill Markup

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott today delivered the following statement at a full Committee markup of the Republicans' partisan farm bill. Watch the full hearing here.

[As prepared for delivery]

Today we are marking up the a farm bill that undermines and hurts both our farmers and our American families, and here is why:

This farm bill makes the largest financial cut to SNAP in 30 years! 

Listen to me carefully: Our non partisan congressional budget office says that this 30 billion dollars in cuts generated by the thrifty food plan changes, all come from SNAP benefits! 

Now, this means that this legislation before us today ensures that 30 billion dollars in SNAP benefits will not flow to low-income households with children, our senior citizens, our American people with disabilities, our courageous veterans, our working parents and caretakers who need the help the most with getting food.

That is a fact! And, this is why each of our experts that appeared before our recent, China Threats to Agriculture hearing, determined and said to us that food is now a national security issue.

SNAP benefits are inadequate in 99 percent of our counties, in out Nation, that is a fact!

And, 71 percent of SNAP benefits are in families with young children. That is a fact!

And, these facts alone are reason enough to vote against this terrible bill, but this bill does even more damage than taking food away from families, it also takes much needed financial support away from our farmers.  

Now, we Democrats passed the largest climate investment in history, which is 19 billion dollars in climate smart conservation funding with IRA conservation money that protects the climate guardrails.  

Folks, protecting the climate guardrails is very popular with our farmers, and it is not just being climate smart, it is very business smart, because it helps our farmers operate with more sustainability and profitability.

Ladies and gentlemen, farmers most important resources are their land and the climate that they need and want to protect, improve, and understand better the climate in order for our farmers to keep feeding us, sheltering us, fueling us and clothing us. 

Another tool that the Republicans are trying to take away from our farmers with this bill is the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) away from the Secretary of Agriculture then when the pandemic hit it was the 31 billion dollars in CCC money that helped connect the farmers and processors to get food commodities to hungry Americans.

And, when China’s tariffs hit our farmers under former president Trump started a trade war it was the 28 million dollars in CCC money that helped our farmers unload surplus commodities and find more markets.

And with this terrible bill before us today, the Republicans are trying to prohibit the future Secretary of Agriculture from using the CCC, the very tool that helps our farmers in those kinds of nightmare scenarios.  

I cannot, I will not support this bill, I will vote no and I encourage my colleagues to oppose it. 

This bill is misguided, and in some aspects, it is mean spirited to American families and our American farmers. 

And, everyone here knows that this bill before us will never become law, the Senate won’t accept it, the administration won’t accept it.

And while this bill is a giant mis-step it never the less begins our journey toward passing the farm bill.

But, there will be opportunities along this journey for Republicans to reconsider and turn away from this partisan path that they are currently taking us down. I hope they will do that soon.

And when my Republican friends are ready to return to the path of bipartisanship, which is the only path that leads to a successful farm bill, we Democrats will be there waiting for them to join with us Democrats hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm.  

You know, I was born on a farm in Aynor, South Carolina, on my grandparents Hellen and Jim Burroughs' tobacco and cotton farm.  

I was raised around farmers, and I know that our farmers know that the only way we succeed is by us working together. We may not be there today, but we have to get there! For the sake of American agriculture, the American farmers, and the American people. 

Thank you, Chairman, and I yield back.

Back to top