A Formal Annotation of Nancy Pelosi’s Farm Bill Press Release

Apr 27, 2018 | COMMUNICATIONS •

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement after House Republicans released text of their 2018 Farm Bill proposal to the unanimous opposition of Democrats on the House Committee on Agriculture.

We’d like to address some of what was said…

“This partisan proposal seals Republicans’ betrayal of rural communities and working families across the nation.”

Let’s get one thing straight, we actually live in these rural communities. So while you’re “flying over” these areas in your personal jet on your way to your personal vineyard or to your walled-off mansion in San Francisco, we’re going home to our rural communities and working-class towns.

As far as a “betrayal of rural communities and working families,” the Farm Bill actually strengthens the capacity of rural development and broadband. It maintains and strengthens investment in trade promotion initiatives. It prioritizes working lands conservations. It improves the farm safety net to help farmers and ranchers weather a five-year recession. It reduces regulatory burdens for rural communities. It protects crop insurance, livestock health, and specialty crops. And it maintains provisions to help beginning farmers and ranchers establish themselves in agriculture.

So do explain: how on earth do any of these provisions betray our rural communities?!

“House Republicans are hastily moving to devastate the seniors, veterans, individuals with disabilities and vulnerable communities who rely on SNAP to put food on the table.”

Whoa there, you clearly didn’t read the bill when you sent this release out. Now that you have, you should know that the strengthening and streamlining of (already existing) work requirements only applies to work-capable adults. So by definition, NOT seniors, NOT individuals with disabilities, NOT children, NOT pregnant women. In fact, nearly two-thirds of SNAP program participants will see no changes under this workforce proposal.

Not to mention, for those who are work-capable adults, the Farm Bill will provide a variety of options to increase opportunities for them, including participation in fully-funded, guaranteed Employment & Training (E&T) slots.

Now that you know, we hope you stop spreading these flat-out lies.

“The GOP’s ‘workforce requirements’ are nothing but a cynical Trojan Horse to take away SNAP from million of hungry families, and push forward new burdensome bureaucracies that fly in the face of evidence-based policy.”

There’s a lot wrong with this sentence, so we’re going to break this one down in pieces.

First off, cynical Trojan Horse? We don’t find it cynical to offer opportunities to those hoping to enter our booming economy and workforce. We don’t find it cynical to support skills training and job growth. We’d like to make one thing clear: the measure of success for the SNAP program should not be how many people are getting assistance. Rather, it should be measured by how many people we can help off the sidelines and back into the workforce.

Second, the Farm Bill actually maintains vital nutrition assistance for those in need while making a historic commitment to helping (SNAP) recipients escape poverty and achieve the American Dream. It does NOT take away SNAP from hungry families. #FlyoverNancy, please stop with the misinformation.

We believe, as should you, that we must recognize the potential in every person, including work-capable adults. By offering skills development, the Farm Bill empowers these men and women to provide for themselves by gaining the necessary skills to access to one of the 6.1 million job openings in America right now.

In fact, when work requirements have been applied at the state level, people’s time on welfare is cut in half and their income often more than doubles. Just see what happened in Kansas.

“Instead of connecting Americans to actual good-paying jobs, Republicans’ latest proposal is yet another attempt by the GOP to force already hard-working Americans to foot the bill for their fiscal recklessness.”

Wow, talk about partisan spin. That sentence must have taken exceptional effort to draft.  But alas, it’s not true.

The Farm Bill is not some last-ditch effort to save a shiny penny. This bill is focused on giving struggling Americans the opportunities they need to take control of their lives and achieve their own American Dreams. And these ARE good-paying jobs that span a variety of industries including construction, manufacturing, and nursing.

“After exploding the deficit with the GOP tax scam’s handouts to corporations and the 1 percent, Republicans are feverishly trying to slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and vital lifelines such as SNAP.”

GOP tax scam handouts? This blatantly out-of-touch rhetoric needs to stop. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has brought more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks to millions of workers across America. With a nearly doubled standard deduction, lower tax rates, and new withholding tables, Americans living paycheck to paycheck are finally feeling some relief. Again, #FlyoverNancy, we know that you don’t personally understand those kinds of circumstances.

What are you getting at when you say we’re  “slash[ing] Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security…”

#FlyoverNancy, the Farm Bill does not make any changes to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security—those programs are not a part of SNAP. Are you trying to deliberately mislead Americans?

And, for fear of being redundant, we’d like to reiterate that SNAP is remaining intact, the Farm Bill is creating streamlined, simplified work requirements through meaningful investment in workforce Employment and Training (E&T).

“Rural America and hard-working families deserve a balanced Farm Bill that reflects the reality of the struggling farm economy for the 16 million men and women of agriculture and the nearly 41 million Americans who are food insecure.”

We couldn’t agree more! Good thing the 2018 Farm Bill does exactly that. It strengthens the farm safety net for those 16 million men and women of agriculture, and it improves SNAP.

(Man, we’re feeling pretty repetitive at this point.)

“We [Democrats] will never stop fighting to create jobs…”

Then why did you try and vote down the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act  which has already created thousands of new jobs and increased wages across America? And if you truly are fighting to create jobs then why has your party promised to repeal the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which will effectively raise taxes on everyday Americans and hurt small businesses across the country?

[We will never stop fighting to] lower the cost of living…

#FlyoverNancy, please explain how trapping people in poverty helps them with the cost of anything.

[We will never stop fighting to] give every American the tools to succeed in the 21st Century economy.”

That’s exactly why you should support the 2018 Farm Bill, which modernizes and improves SNAP Employment and Training tools that will help lift our most vulnerable populations out of poverty and help them achieve the American Dream.

#FlyoverNancy, please consider what you’re fighting with the #2018FarmBill. This is common-sense legislation that will help springboard people off the sidelines and into the workforce. As an elected leader of the American people, we’re asking for your support.

We’d love to have you on board.