As the U.S. House of Representatives voted today on a split farm bill that only addresses agricultural interests and leaves out nutrition programs including food stamps, U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, both D-N.Y., joined with 15 other senators urging that Senate Leadership keep the Farm Bill whole.
The senators said House Republicans unprecedented legislative maneuver disrupts a decades long balance between urban and rural interests which has ensured American farmers have the protections they need to grow enough food to feed people across the world, while also ensuring that American families have the resources they need to meet their basic food needs.
Gillibrand called on Sen. Harry Reid and other Senate leaders to oppose any effort to split that legislation that would undermine Americans farmers and hungry families.
“Just as important as the health of our agriculture industry, is the health and nutrition of our children, seniors and military families who are struggling for their next meal,” Gillibrand said.
“This unacceptable and unprecedented plan by House Republicans to split this bill into two parts jeopardizes the rural-urban connection in the farm bill and puts critical food assistance for our children, seniors and military families at risk of even more draconian cuts in the House," Gillibrand said. "Hungry children deserve better than this complete dysfunction from the House turning a long standing and bipartisan coalition upside down."
The other senators who joined the two New York Democrats in writing a letter to Harry Reid are Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.; Mark Begich, D-Alaska; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Angus King, I-Maine; Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist-Vt.; Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon.