U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today issued a statement after the House voted 234-to-195 to reject the Farm Bill.
Barber was one of 24 Democrats who joined 171 Republicans in an effort to pass legislation that would have set the course for U.S. agriculture and food policy for the next five years.
"Today I voted for the Farm Bill. It's a far-from-perfect bill, but it would have moved this process forward and toward a compromise. It would have extended national agricultural and nutrition programs for the next five years. These programs are important to Southern Arizona and my constituents.
"This is unfortunately another example of how Congress is broken. We must come together to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill. We need to give certainty to American farmers and consumers by ensuring steady, dependable prices at the grocery store, relief for drought-stricken farms and critical investments in food assistance programs for those most in need.
"I strongly oppose the proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and voted to restore those cuts. In Arizona, more than 1.1 million people -- 1 of every 6 -- receive aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. More than 75 percent of those recipients are in families with children and nearly half are in working families.
"I call on leadership in Congress to work together and bring a bipartisan Farm Bill to the floor that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law for the betterment of the American people and southern Arizona. The American people are calling on us to get something done. We need to take action now."