Statement ● Energy and the Environment
For Immediate Release: 
July 11, 2013
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whp Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor in opposition to the Republican farm bill that does not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Below are excerpts from his remarks on the Floor and a link to the videos: 

From Whip Hoyer's colloquy with Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX):

Click here to watch the video.

“This side of the aisle believes the passage of the farm bill is very, very important. It's important for our agricultural interests, for our farmers. We believe it's very important for those who are relying on nutritional programs and support from us.”

“I tell the Gentleman, as he well knows, the farm bill for the past two years has passed out of the Committee with a majority of Democrats – and I think maybe unanimous but certainly overwhelming majority of Republicans. It passed out last year as a bipartisan bill. It was not brought to the Floor. It was not brought to the Floor, as the Gentleman recalls, because of the controversies on your side, not our side of the aisle.

“Very frankly, I tell my friend that what has happened, the farm bill was a bipartisan bill supported by a majority of Democrats in the Committee, as the Gentleman knows, and by the Ranking Democrat, Mr. Peterson. It came to the Floor, however, and that partisanship was undermined by the amendments that were adopted.”

From Whip Hoyer's Floor Remarks opposing the farm bill:

Click here to watch the video.

“The Chairman has said publicly he does not want to do this. The Chairman has said publicly he wants to do what, historically, we have done – gone forth in a bipartisan way – and that's the bill he constructed last year, and his colleagues did not bring it to the Floor. That's the bill he constructed this year and it was brought to the Floor. But, as Mr. Peterson has so eloquently stated, it was turned from a bipartisan bill into a partisan bill."

"Farmers need our agreement. I don't think I've ever opposed a farm bill, not because I represent a vast farm district. I don't. But I understand that food and fiber is critical for my people, for our nation, and, indeed, for much of the world."

“Let us reject this bill. Let us reject a partisan bill. Let us speak out for the farm community of America and, yes, those who need nutritional help. And let us also speak for job growth in rural America, which the bill that the Chairman reported out would have helped."