House GOP Votes to Nix Nutrition Title of Farm Bill

Jul 16, 2013

House GOP Votes to Nix Nutrition Title of Farm Bill

For the last 40 years, every Farm Bill that has cleared Congress has included a nutrition title to help ensure that less fortunate American families have food on their tables.  A few weeks ago, House Republicans were unable to muster enough votes to pass a version of a Farm Bill that called for a $20.5 billion reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a cut that would have pushed 1.8 million low-income people – nearly half of them children – off the program.

But it didn’t end there.  On July 11, with almost no notice or even an opportunity for Members to read it, the House Leadership brought a new 608-page Farm Bill [H.R. 2642] to the House Floor that removed the entire nutrition title from the legislation.  The Republican Leadership did this in spite of the opposition of more than 500 farm and conservation groups who had written House Speaker Boehner to urge him not to split off the nutrition title from the rest of the bill.  These protests fell on deaf ears, and House Republicans passed the bill on a party-line vote of 216 to 208.

Automatic Spending Cuts Hurt Great Lakes

We’re just over three months into the across-the-board spending cuts – technically called “sequestration” – that were triggered when Congress and the Obama Administration could not reach agreement on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit.  On July 2, Rep. Levin was joined by clean water advocates and local officials to spotlight how cuts imposed through sequestration are harming the Clean Water Revolving Fund and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – two programs that are vital to strengthening our region’s water quality.  

Due to sequestration, Michigan has lost $3.6 million in Clean Water formula funding; further, funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been slashed by $16 million.  The Macomb Daily ran a really good Clean Water news article about how the cuts will hurt Lake St. Clair and the Clinton River.