Pingree Opposes Republican Farm Bill Vote Today

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,466)

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree had harsh words for House Republicans, who pushed through a version of the Farm Bill today that completely ignores the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly food stamps).

“The Republican leadership in the House decided the only way they were going to get their members to support a Farm Bill was to completely abandon the nearly 50 million Americans on food assistance,” Pingree said.  “For over sixty years, Congress has been able to pass a bill that combines farming and food stamp programs.  Until now it had been a bipartisan process but a minority of Tea Party Republicans in the House have found a way to bring that long-standing agreement to an end,” according to a press release issued by Pingree’s office today.

Last month the Senate passed a bipartisan version of the legislation but today, House Repubicans rammed through a bill that repeals the 1949 law that included SNAP as part of the Farm Bill.  A previous attempt last month to pass a Farm Bill in the House failed when conservative Republicans attached amendments to thelegislation that made it harder for low-income famlies to access food assistance.

“The last version of the Farm Billl we voted on already had extreme, drastic cuts to food stampsd,” Pingree said.  “BUt I guess even that wasn’t enough for some of the more extreme Repubnlicans in the House.  Sometimes I think the only thing that would make them happy is to eliminate the SNAP program altogether.”

House Republicans now say they will hold a separate vote on the SNAP program, but haven’t revealed any details of how deeply that bill would cut benefits.

Pingree voted against the bill that passed the House today.