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Ranking Member David Scott Statement on Republican Farm Bill

Today, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott made the following statement after Chairman GT Thompson advanced partisan legislation out of Committee.

“For over a year, Democrats have engaged with the Chairman, striving for a genuinely bipartisan farm bill that meets the needs of our farmers and the families they feed. This partisan farm bill fails that test by pitting farmers against the families they feed. Instead of working with House Democrats to write a truly bipartisan bill, House Republicans spent the last year waging a relentless campaign against the very farm bill titles that would garner our support. This partisan farm bill makes the largest cut to SNAP in nearly 30 years.

“This partisan farm bill undermines historic climate investments secured by House Democrats in the Inflation Reduction Act. This partisan farm bill eliminates a crucial tool used by Democratic and Republican administrations to aid our farmers during emergencies. 

“Throughout this process, I communicated to the Republicans that the funding scheme they pushed for would alienate Democratic support and imperil a bipartisan farm bill. They did not listen. When I presented a counterproposal to the Chairman which would invest tens of billions in the farm safety net while avoiding damaging cuts to food assistance and climate-smart agriculture, it was rejected. Republicans were not interested in engaging. The result is this partisan farm bill that violates our core values as Democrats, hurts the American people—particularly our most vulnerable, including children and people with disabilities—and lacks the broad Democratic support to pass on the House Floor.

“House Republicans have marched themselves off an ideological cliff on SNAP. I hope that once Republicans recover from this self-imposed stumbling block, that they will return to the negotiating table to pursue a truly bipartisan farm bill. Farmers know that the only way we get them the support they need is through bipartisanship. The Republican strategy was to intentionally split the traditional bipartisan farm bill coalition by pitting farmers against food banks, environmental advocates, labor unions, and the American families who rely on the healthy, nutritious foods that farmers grow. That is not a genuine bipartisan process. 

“This bill may have advanced out of Committee, but it has no future. It does not have the Democratic support necessary to be brought to the House Floor. It will not become law. There is still time for Republicans to come to their senses and strike a bipartisan compromise. House Democrats will be here, ready and willing to work, once they do.”

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