Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today after voting against a Republican Farm Bill that stripped out provisions to fund nutrition programs under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
"Last month, House Republicans brought a Farm Bill up for a vote that slashed $20 billion from food assistance programs that help families and their children from going hungry when they fall on hard times. Today, House Republicans went one step further by bringing up a new bill that completely removes funding for these programs. At a time when New Mexico leads the nation in child hunger, the last thing we should be doing is attacking programs that help prevent our children from going to bed hungry.
"Rather than charting a path with bipartisan support that helps our farmers and ranchers through much-needed reforms and supports the vital programs that the most vulnerable rely on, House Republicans chose to bring up a 600-page bill that had been introduced only the night before and ignores our brothers and sisters in need.
"House Republicans have said this is a necessary step to extend farm programs, but it is nothing more than a cynical attempt to hide the fact that a significant number of my Republican colleagues, especially Tea Party Republicans, want to gut nutritional programs that help so many New Mexico families. In fact, this bill does nothing to support New Mexico's dairy producers. House Republicans stripped out the Dairy Stabilization Program, a key component to dairy policy reform that would have helped producers across New Mexico.
"There is no question that many of the out-of-date farm assistance provisions need to be reformed and reworked to help farmers and ranchers who are struggling in the face of drought conditions; however, we should not do so at the expense of those families who are at risk of going hungry."