Bonamici Supports Nutrition Programs, Hemp, Farmers in Bipartisan Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, DC [12/12/18] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) supported a five-year Farm Bill reauthorization that will provide a safety net for hardworking farmers, legalize hemp production, protect nutrition assistance programs for millions of people facing food insecurity, and strengthen programs to conserve our natural resources.
“Federal agriculture and food programs have not kept pace with the new challenges facing many small farms and our most vulnerable populations, and it is past time that we act to provide a meaningful safety net,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. "This is a new and improved bipartisan Farm Bill, and although it is not perfect, I am pleased that it will protect the food assistance programs for the nearly 41 million Americans still facing food insecurity. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is vital for low-income families in Oregon and across the country who benefit from access to affordable food and free school meals for their children."
Bonamici has long been a champion for legalizing industrial hemp and allowing it to be defined as an agricultural commodity. The Farm Bill, which included a provision to accomplish that goal, passed the House today.
“I have been fighting to legalize industrial hemp since my days in the Oregon Legislature,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Legalizing hemp will be a boon to Oregon’s economy by allowing farmers to expand their markets while continuing to research and cultivate their crops. We have already seen how hemp can be used in thousands of products, including food and beverages, beauty products, rope, and clothing. I look forward to accelerated growth and innovation in this industry.”
The Farm Bill is the result of bipartisan negotiations and does not include many of the harmful provisions in H.R. 2, the House Republican’s Agriculture and Nutrition Act, which Bonamici opposed earlier this year. In addition to the SNAP and hemp provisions, the new Farm Bill:
· Eliminates harmful cuts and work requirements for SNAP beneficiaries;
· Increases funding for food banks and provides an additional $201 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP);
· Eliminates language that would make it easier to use harmful pesticides and does not include riders that would jeopardize protections for clean drinking water;
· Preserves the Environmental Quality Incentive and Conservation Stewardship programs, which help farmers with conservation and land management to protect our natural resources;
· Provides permanent funding for organic research; and
· Protects trade programs to help farmers navigate market uncertainty.