Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-07) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 which failed in the House by a vote of 195-234:
"While I am supportive of a five year farm bill extension, I voted against H.R. 1947 today because this bill did not strike the balance needed to protect the farmers in my district as well as those in Alabama who depend on nutrition assistance. This bill would have had devastating consequences for more than 913,000 families in Alabama who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP has saved millions of lives and currently provides essential support to over 160,000 individuals in my district in Alabama alone.
"This bill would have cut SNAP benefits by more than $20 billion over the next decade, leaving more than 2 million low-income people without food assistance and over 210,000 low-income children without access to their free school meals. It is unconscionable that we attempt to balance the deficit on the backs of low-income seniors, people with disabilities and working-poor families who depend on SNAP.
"I understand the urgent necessity to pass a farm bill that will ensure the certainty and safety net that Alabama farmers and growers desperately need to grow America's produce. That is why I look forward to working with my colleagues to strike the right balance between the needs of food consumers and the needs of food producers."