Today, Congressman Joe Pitts (PA-16) voted against H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, or FARRM bill. The bill reauthorizes federal agriculture and nutrition programs and failed in the House of Representatives, 195-234. Pitts' bipartisan amendment to reform the federal sugar program failed 206-221.
Congressman Pitts' statement follows:
"I voted against the farm bill today out of disappointment over the lack of strong reforms to food or farm programs. My bipartisan amendment to reform the sugar program narrowly failed. An amendment to require food stamp recipients to be looking for work also failed. This would have applied the same good principles to the food stamp program that were contained in the 90s welfare reform. While the amendment to reform the dairy program passed, this was not enough reason to vote for a bill that was so flawed.
"I've visited nearly every food cupboard in the 16th District, and I know how important nutritional programs are to many in our community. However, we need to make sure that assistance is getting to the truly needy and that we are funding these programs at a sustainable level.
"We also must stop corporate giveaways and protectionist policies that actually hurt American consumers, workers and taxpayers. The sugar program guarantees profits for growers and processors at the expense of food companies across the country. The Commerce Department has told us that this is a policy that loses three jobs for every one job it saves. I am truly disappointed that many of my Republican colleagues continue to support government control of this market."