Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement after the Senate passed the Farm Bill by a vote of 64 to 35. The bill reauthorizes commodity, conservation, nutrition, rural development, trade and research programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"This year's Farm Bill is a victory for Washington state, our farmers, and our economy -- and I was proud to support it. It makes important investments in jobs, provides meaningful support for our fruit and vegetable growers, and reforms many programs while continuing the critical safety net for farmers. This bill is yet another step toward reducing the federal debt by cutting approximately $23 billion from the federal deficit over ten years, while continuing investments in vital programs.
"I do not believe this legislation is perfect, and I am particularly concerned about the reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds. Thousands of Washingtonians are relying on SNAP during these tough economic times, just as my own family did when I was young. I will continue to work in the Senate to stave off cuts to programs that support our nation's most vulnerable families.
"Despite reductions in SNAP cuts, the bill addresses issues of particular importance to Washington state. It makes continued investments in specialty crops, a significant part of Washington's agricultural production, rural development and alternative energy programs, and ensures the Washington agriculture industry remains competitive in the global marketplace.
"Families continue to struggle in this tough economy, and rural communities are particularly hard-hit. So I was proud to support this year's Farm Bill to create jobs and tackle the deficit, and I am especially pleased this bill passed with the bipartisan efforts of 64 Senators."