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Sen. Cruz Votes in Support of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

Issues statement following Senate passage of the 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement upon casting a vote in support of the Senate’s 2018 Farm Bill:

“Agriculture and farming are vital to the fabric of our nation, and are an enduring legacy of the great state of Texas. Resources like crop insurance provide farmers with an economic safety net for their efforts to feed and supply their fellow Americans, in good times and bad, and ensure food security for our nation. 

“We achieved some long-needed reforms in this year’s Farm Bill, and took a stride toward more. For example, I’m pleased the final Senate bill takes steps towards restoring programs for cotton producers, by reducing the impact of amendments designed to benefit other regions and commodities at the expense of others. 

“I also supported the adoption of Sen. Chuck Grassely’s amendment, which represents a step in the right direction for meaningful limits on economic assistance provided in the farm bill. It is important to target farm payments to those producers who are truly in need of assistance and most impacted from economic and weather events beyond their control.

“I was also proud to introduce an amendment with Sens. Mike Lee and John Kennedy to strengthen work requirements for SNAP. Under the previous administration, food stamp usage skyrocketed, with one in seven Americans dependent on food stamps. Expanding food stamps all too often traps millions of Americans in long-term dependency. However, a third of the country right now lives in areas with no work requirements. Thirty-three states have some kind of waiver—28 states have partial waivers, while five states and the District of Columbia have total waivers.

“My work requirements amendment was an opportunity for meaningful welfare reform and a real step towards providing upward mobility for millions of Americans. The amendment would strengthen the work requirements for SNAP recipients even further than those included in the recently passed House bill by eliminating statewide or partial waivers from the work requirements and ending a state’s ability to take federal SNAP dollars while having no work requirements, which have become susceptible to fraud and abuse. It would also allow State-run work activation programs to surround disadvantaged citizens with resources like vocational education, job training, community service programs, and job search assistance. This change would give disadvantaged citizens resources to enable them to rejoin the workforce, while also supporting their real needs, and require able-bodied adults to seek and hold down a job. 

“Unfortunately, this amendment was defeated yesterday. But every family should have the help and the incentive to reach self-sufficiency and prosperity.  I voted yes to move this bill to conference, in the hopes that the House will rightly insist on strengthening work requirements in the final legislation.”