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Rep. Foster Joins Over 500 Business, Agricultural and Nutritional Advocacy Organizations In Opposing Republican FARRM Bill

Jul 11, 2013
Press Release
Bill Ends Bipartisan Tradition, is Detrimental to Illinois Agriculture, Would Put At Risk Food Assistance For Millions of Families

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Bill Foster voted against H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM Act).  The bill will, for the first time in 40 years, sever the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) from the farm bill.  The SNAP program helps feed millions of children, seniors and families in the United States.  

Over 500 groups from across the political spectrum have written Speaker John Boehner in opposition to this divisive legislation. Those in opposition include nutrition advocacy groups like Voices for Illinois Children and Christ the Servant Catholic Church, business groups like the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Agricultural Retailers Association, and agriculture advocacy groups like the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Farmers Union.

A copy of their letter, including the 532 signatories, is available here.

“For decades, the farm bill has been an example of how Congress should function – Democrats and Republicans coming together to solve our nation’s problems. It has been vital for Illinois’ agricultural economy and the thousands of jobs it supports, and equally vital to providing healthy nutritional assistance to economically challenged families throughout Illinois,” said Foster. “I was joined by over 500 groups in opposition to the FARRM bill because it is a cynical attempt by the House Republican Leadership to break the coalition of nutrition and farm communities to score political points with their ideological right wing. This bill does not support our national agriculture industry and it does not support families who are struggling to put food on the table following the worst recession this country has seen since the Great Depression.”

“That fact that Republicans chose to walk away from bipartisan compromise, and voted along party lines on this divisive legislation that stands no chance of being signed into law, shows just how out of touch Republicans in Congress have become.”

The bill passed on a straight party line vote of 216-208, with no Democrats voting in favor.