U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) voted against the GOP's second attempt at passing a multi-year farm bill, after the original bill was defeated in the House last month.
The new farm bill, H.R. 2642, is largely the same bill that was amended and rejected in June, but it removes provisions regarding the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodity Supplemental Program, which help struggling families and seniors across the U.S.
"When you split the farm bill, these important nutrition programs become even more vulnerable to deeper cuts by my Republican colleagues, and there is no guarantee the GOP leadership will even work to put them on the agenda," said Hanabusa. "Nearly two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly, or disabled, and the program provides more than 200,000 students with free school lunch and breakfast. Most of the families on SNAP, who are able to, are working.
"The bill also repeals or modifies major agricultural programs that help our communities, including research grant programs and direct support to farmers. It also repeals the underlying 1938 and 1949 farm laws which ensure that Congress periodically updates agriculture and food policies to better serve the needs of our citizens.
"Splitting the farm bill is opposed by hundreds of farm groups, including the American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union, and I join them in demanding a united bill that supports our agriculture industry while addressing hunger in our country."
H.R. 2642 passed by a vote of 216-208 and now heads to the Senate. The Obama Administration has threatened to veto this bill.