Today, for the second time, the House voted on the Farm Bill. The first version of the bill cut funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as Food Stamps, by $20.5 billion, but this version of the bill failed to fund the program entirely. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) opposed the Farm Bill as a result of the lack of funding to SNAP and released the following statement after passage by a vote of 216 to 208:
"This is a sad day for the millions of children and families in this country who are hungry and struggling to make ends meet. I am appalled at my colleagues in Congress who have completely turned their back on starving children and the most underserved in this country. Not only did we not get the 600-page bill until late last night, violating House Republicans' "3-day rule' of time before voting on a bill, but separating supplemental nutrition assistance from the Farm Bill went against a four-decade precedent.
"Today, the GOP made their priorities crystal clear: government subsidies for large corporations over aid to the most vulnerable among us. It's unconscionable that we continue to front the money for those who can afford less, but fail to extend a helping hand to our children, seniors, the disabled, and those who have fallen on hard times. Less people would have to rely on these programs if my Republican colleagues would focus their attention on raising the minimum wage, passing a jobs bill, and investing in education. I will keep fighting for those who are being ignored and pushed aside because the standard set today is completely unacceptable."