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Rep. Brat Releases Statement on House Farm Bill Vote

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Washington, May 18, 2018 | Mitchell Hailstone (202-225-2815) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dave Brat released the following statement following his NO vote on H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act or 2018 Farm Bill, which failed to receive enough votes to pass the House:

“Our farmers and ranchers feed the United States and the world. Since the beginning of time, weather and disease threaten crops and animals. And so, it is in the interest of all Americans to make sure our food supply is secure. Food security is national security.

“While the 2018 Farm Bill did not go far enough to address all of my concerns with the current farm subsidy programs, our farmers and ranchers need certainty and stability so they can keep producing food for families across the United States. This is the first step in the process, and it is my hope that Senate Agriculture Chairman Roberts will improve the bill as it moves through the process.

“Additionally, I am pleased this bill makes a historic commitment to helping able-bodied adults without kids escape poverty and pursue the American Dream. According to recent polling, 83% of voters support work requirements for work-capable adults on food stamps. So this bill builds on the bipartisan welfare reform of 1996 by making work, work training, or looking for work search mandatory for work-capable adults without kids, with exceptions for the elderly and disabled. We can maintain vital nutrition assistance for those in need while at the same time encouraging those who are able to re-enter the workforce.

“Unfortunately, the Farm Bill has become entangled with another debate. A handful of Republicans are working with Democrats to use an arcane procedural rule in an attempt to force the House to vote on amnesty for up to 10 million people. In order to avoid this end-run around a majority of Republicans, leadership has promised that we would vote on a standalone Rep. Goodlatte immigration reform bill. This compromise legislation would help DACA kids and at the same time implement critical reforms to our immigration system that will solve our border crisis, including provisions that address agriculture-related work issues. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach a conclusion on these immigration and procedure issues before the vote today. However, we have plenty of time to ensure we get an improved Farm Bill that gets us all to yes – the Senate has not even taken it up yet and there is a September 30th deadline. It is my hope we will be able to reach closure on all of these issues soon and fulfill our promises to the American people.”

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