Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) voted against a version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (farm bill) that would cut $20.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), eliminate important protections for Connecticut dairy farmers, and intrude on states' ability to enact reforms. Esty co-sponsored an amendment to the farm bill, introduced by Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2), that would have restored the $20.5 billion in SNAP funding. Esty also voted against the Goodlatte/Scott amendment that weakens the safety net for dairy farmers. While the Goodlatte/Scott amendment passed, the McGovern amendment did not, and the final farm bill failed to pass the House earlier today by a vote of 195 to 234.
"Cutting more than $20 billion in nutrition assistance for families is not a reasonable reform and neither is weakening the safety net for our dairy farmers," Esty said. "SNAP is critical to preventing hunger and combatting poverty in Connecticut and across the country, particularly for families with children and disabled veterans. SNAP reached 427,000 people in Connecticut in January of this year and almost 61% of SNAP recipients in Connecticut are families with children. Moreover, hardworking dairy farmers make a critical contribution to our economy here in Connecticut. I will continue to support bills and amendments that allow for balanced reforms to benefit farmers, consumers, and tax-payers without gutting anti-hunger efforts or disproportionately hurting our state."