Farm Progress

Scott warns Republicans to lay off SNAP

Top Ag Committee Democrat says his support for nutrition program is unwavering.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

August 2, 2023

2 Min Read
fruit and vegetables in grocery store
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House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott, D- Ga., is warning Republicans not to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding if they want to pass a farm bill. On Tuesday, he issued an emphatic public statement reiterating unified Democratic support for what he calls the country’s most successful anti-hunger program.

“My defense of SNAP is as unambiguous as it is unwavering,” Scott said in his statement. “Continued attempts by extreme Republicans to take food away from hungry children, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities will not stand.”

By all accounts farm bill negotiations within the House Agriculture Committee continue to be productive. Scott and Committee Chair Glen “GT” Thompson, R- Pa., have both touted the good working relationship between them and Ag Committee members. During a July meeting with agriculture reporters in Washington, Thompson indicated that the House Ag Committee was close to finalizing its farm bill draft. Following a Monday farm bill listening session in Maine, Thompson said he believes the draft will be ready by the end of August.

According to a source close to the negotiations, there is growing concern on the committee that lawmakers outside of the bill-drafting process may be working to torpedo their bipartisan agreement.

On Monday, Louisiana Republican Representative Garret Graves told Politico he planned to push for additional SNAP restrictions, including higher age requirements and limiting states’ authority to issue waivers. Graves, a key negotiator for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, added that Republicans “got what they could” in the debt ceiling bill, but would continue pushing for additional cuts in other bills, including the farm bill.

Those remarks did not sit well with Scott, prompting his strong rebuke.

"Even as a bipartisan delegation of the House Agriculture Committee held a farm bill listening session in Maine, senior House Republicans are openly sharing their plans with members of the media to take food away from vulnerable Americans by weakening SNAP,” Scott said in his statement. “I urge my Republican colleagues to proceed with caution. If they want to pass a farm bill that supports America’s farmers and families, they need to keep their hands off SNAP.”

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About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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