Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today praised the defeat of H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (Farm Bill), by a 195-234 vote. This controversial Farm Bill, which governs the nation's nutrition and agriculture policies, sought to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, by almost $21 billion. These cuts would have eliminated food assistance to nearly 2 million low-income people, including working families with children and senior citizens.
Butterfield said, "The defeat of this bill today sends a clear message to Speaker John Boehner and the House Republican leadership. They cannot play partisan games with the well-being of the American people. We have a responsibility to our fellow Americans to help care for them in their time of need, and today's attempt to push almost 2 million Americans off of food stamps undermines that responsibility. Democrats will not stand by and let funding to an essential program like SNAP be gutted. As we showed today, Democrats will fiercely defend low-income families, seniors, and the poor. This is a big win for the nation and for the people of North Carolina's First Congressional District. I applaud the 62 House Republicans who joined us in rejecting this poison pill of a bill. I hope they will urge the Republican leadership to work with Democrats to pass a clean farm bill."
Also today, Congressman Butterfield's amendment, which garnered the support of House Democratic Leaders Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Jim Clyburn (SC-06), to expand the types of items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits to include "personal hygiene" products was defeated by a vote of 122-296. However, Butterfield vows to reintroduce the amendment should a bipartisan Farm Bill come to the House floor for a vote.