WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture, took part in the House Agriculture Committee markup of  H.R. 8467, the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 – also known as the 2024 Farm Bill.

Following the passage of the 2024 Farm Bill in committee, Congresswoman Hayes released the following statement:

“Today, the House Agriculture Committee marked up the 2024 Farm Bill.

I began the markup hopeful that we would be able to work together on a Farm Bill that would address the needs of all Americans. Unfortunately, the Farm Bill text as presented does not.

Throughout today, several amendments were offered that would have moved the Farm Bill toward supporting our nation’s farmers and the families that rely on nutrition programs. While there were bipartisan amendments I fully agree with and was happy to see included in the Farm Bill, several crucial amendments were not included.

First, Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02) offered an amendment to repeal Republican efforts to remove the Secretary of Agriculture’s authority to utilize Commodity Credit Corporation funding to support farmers during times of unpredictable stress. Recent administrations have used this authority to respond to supply chain disruptions, support schools and food banks in purchasing food, and responding to foreign tariffs. With this change, Congress will be forced to step in to help our farmers during times of need, leading to delays during which farmers would suffer.

Second, Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-02) offered an amendment that would restore funding to climate sideboards funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that focused on conservation provisions and climate-smart farming. In my district and across the country, farmers utilize programs funded by USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service to invest in their businesses. Farmers have protected their crops, invested in vital infrastructure, and diversified their production through programs like EQIP. These programs are already oversubscribed and underfunded. We should support climate-smart efforts by our small farmers, not reduce funding for popular, effective programs.

Lastly, I offered an amendment that would undo the $30 billion in cuts to the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines benefit amounts for individuals and families on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This would be the largest cut to SNAP in over three decades as reported by the Congressional Budget Office 

The Farm Bill text as presented would cause over 41 million Americans to see their SNAP benefits cut – benefits that are currently about $6.20 a day. Included in these cuts are 17 million children, 5 million children under the age of 5, 4 million disabled Americans, and 6 million seniors. All will see their benefits decrease. Additionally, families who rely on Summer EBT for food when children are out of school, will see that program lose $500 million in funding.

The omission of these amendments in the final Farm Bill text are the reason I ultimately could not support this bill in committee.

I welcome the opportunity to continue to work toward a compromise we can all agree on and pass a Farm Bill in the 118th Congress.”