Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) today issued the following statement after Senate passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the farm bill:
“I appreciate the bipartisan efforts that led to today’s Senate passage of the farm bill, and I want to single out Senators Debbie Stabenow and Thad Cochran for their tireless work to pass this legislation. The farm bill accomplishes some important goals, including new conservation investments that will protect farmlands from development and new incentives to encourage the growth of farmers markets and promote locally grown foods, as well as animal welfare measures.
“Regretfully, however, I could not vote for this legislation. During a time when many families continue to struggle and there are still three job seekers for every job available, the more than $8 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which disproportionately impacts New Jersey, is simply unacceptable. While subsidies to agribusiness remain largely intact in the farm bill, struggling families, seniors and disabled residents in my state are being asked to make sacrifices they can’t afford. This is deeply unfair. We need to be doing more to improve the economic security of the most vulnerable people in our communities, not less, and SNAP is a proven program for doing just that. It’s cost-effective and rigorously controlled.
“After meeting with so many New Jerseyans who have been struggling to find work for months on end – folks who already had their SNAP benefit reduced in November and who had their federal unemployment insurance cut off in December – I cannot support a bill that has the potential to cause further harm to people who desperately need our support.”