Under the threat of a presidential veto, Congressional Democrats pulled their support at the very last minute for the much-needed Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act because of an amendment that allowed states the option of adding work requirements to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Congressman Westmoreland supported the legislation that would cut SNAP by $20.5 billion, save the American taxpayers $40 billion, and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary programs to help streamline our agriculture industry. The legislation enjoyed vast bipartisan support coming out of the Agriculture Committee.
"It's an absolutely shame that after more than four years of debate and over 40 hearings, Congressional Democrats pulled the rug out and refused to support a bill that cut spending by $40 billion and reformed the food stamp program for the first time since 1996. When it comes to something as important as helping our farmers and ranchers continue to provide the American people with the safest, cheapest, and most diverse food supply in the world, you would hope Democrats would put politics aside for one day and do what's best for the American people.
"I think it's important to note that Congressional Democrats torpedoed this bill for something that was not an even absolute requirement -- it was an option for states to consider including work requirements in their own food stamp programs. God forbid we allow the states to determine how best to administer their own programs. I voted in favor of this amendment because it ensures food stamps are going to people who truly need and deserve it and allows states to determine what works best for them.
"My colleagues on the other side of the aisle can say what they want, but today's last-minute shenanigans was nothing more than a political ploy on their part that threatens the country's largest industry -- agriculture.
"I am disappointed in today's vote and I look forward to a time when Congressional Democrats can stop playing politics and work with Republicans to pass this bipartisan legislation that reforms the food stamp program and provides needed assistance to our farmers and ranchers," stated Westmoreland.