Jacobs sees positives on Agriculture Budget Reconciliation Bill, but says GOP input left out

Posted 11 February 2021 at 9:48 am

Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs

ORCHARD PARK – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after the House Committee on Agriculture met on Wednesday to consider the agriculture portion of the proposed Covid-19 budget reconciliation package.

“This legislation was crafted unilaterally without any input from the Republican members serving on the Agriculture Committee. While there is some good in the bill, it contains many unrelated, partisan provisions that fail to meet the needs of our farmers and my calls for targeted, bipartisan relief.

“In my district alone, there are over 4,400 farms who produce 22% of New York State’s total agriculture sales. Western New York farmers supply schools around the country with dairy and supply grocery stores throughout the United States with produce, meat, and eggs. The impact of NY-27 farmers on our country is significant, yet we have not held one hearing to assess the current needs of farmers, and my Republican colleagues and I were not consulted.

“Republicans offered several amendments that would improve this legislation by supporting small producers, restarting the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program halted by the President, and redirecting money toward high-speed internet in rural communities. Democrats rejected these amendments, once again refusing to work with us to craft a bipartisan package. It is my hope this does not become the norm for this committee for the 117th Congress, but rather we work together to support America’s oldest and most substantial industry.”

Jacobs has served on the House Committee on Agriculture since his election in June of 2020 during the 116th Congress. He was re-appointed for the 117th Congress in January of this year.

Editor’s Note: Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat on the Committee from Virginia, issued this statement Wednesday night on Twitter: “During tonight’s House Agriculture Committee hearing, I voted for a 15% increase in SNAP benefits, additional grants for rural healthcare providers to access Covid-19 vaccines, and provisions to protect our supply chains amid the pandemic.

“These are key steps in keeping families fed and protecting our rural communities.”