To the Editor:
After weeks of heated debate on immigration policy, it appears that the House’s passage of the 2018 farm bill has gone largely unnoticed. My Congressman, Peter Roskam, IL-6, voted in favor of the bill on June 21. This bill imposes stricter work requirements on between 5 and 7 million recipients of SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps. This is a vote to steal food out of the hands of working families, children, and older Americans to help pay for the December tax cut bill, which Roskam championed.
Beyond these terrible additions, what does the Farm Bill do? Unfortunately, this bill consistently supports contract farming, which keeps farmers living below or near the poverty line while corporations make massive profits. Congress must vote for a Farm Bill every five years to keep U.S. agriculture functioning well, but it is time to rethink how our Representatives structure these systems.
With the right representatives, the Farm Bill could be a chance to support small farmers, grant greater access to healthy foods for low-income communities, and promote environmental sustainability. Peter Roskam has moved in the wrong direction on a bill with great promise, and that is greatly disappointing.