Spanberger Statement on Status of Farm Bill Negotiations

The Congresswoman is the Only Virginian on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement on the status of Farm Bill negotiations ahead of a U.S. House Agriculture Committee markup on the House GOP’s initial Farm Bill.

“As the only Virginian on the House Agriculture Committee, I have a responsibility to make sure this Farm Bill provides a strong farm safety net for Virginia’s crop and livestock producers, while also making sure it supports food security programs across the Commonwealth. And as Ranking Member of the Conservation, Research, and Biotechnology Subcommittee, I have an obligation to protect America’s voluntary conservations programs. To accomplish these goals, I’ve always said that we need a bipartisan process, not a partisan document that jeopardizes our ability to get a Farm Bill signed into law.

“Unfortunately, the House GOP’s Farm Bill would make several changes, disguised as reforms, that would hurt Virginia agriculture. As written, this bill would not help nearly enough new and beginning farmers obtain new base acres — which is a major challenge in Virginia. And by eliminating the CLEAR initiative, this bill would hamper Virginia’s successful efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay — efforts Virginia farmers and producers have spearheaded for decades. Additionally, this proposal would make unnecessary restrictions to CRP, and it would rob funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation, which helps keep Virginia’s family farms in operation during natural disasters and tough times.

“This partisan proposal would also slash support for anti-hunger programs like SNAP — which is why the nonprofit network representing the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, Feed More, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Capital Area Food Bank, and other organizations that serve Virginians opposes these provisions.

“Thankfully, today’s markup hearing in the House Agriculture Committee is just a first step in negotiations. That’s why I’m encouraged by Chair Stabenow’s commonsense proposal in the U.S. Senate. Under her leadership, I’m confident that we can pass a Farm Bill conference agreement this year that supports our crop and livestock producers without gutting critical food security and conservation programs.”

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