CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON WHITE HOUSE’S FY19 BUDGET REQUEST AND PROPOSAL TO REORGANIZE THE NUTRITION SAFETY NET

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) released the following statement regarding the White House’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

“On Monday, February 12, the President released his FY 2019 Budget Request. Similar to last year, it proposes increases to defense spending at the expense of vital domestic programs. Having a better equipped and more prepared military is integral to our national defense; however, we must prioritize both our non-defense and defense needs.

“Presidential Budget Requests are a statement of values and priories. President Trump had promised to reduce the deficit, but the truth is this budget, in addition to the new tax law, dramatically increases deficits over the next decade.

“As Ranking Member of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I am deeply concerned with the proposed cuts and program eliminations that would adversely impact farmers, rural communities, and those in need of government assistance. The White House proposes a 16 percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level, a cut of $3.7 billion.

“The White House Budget Request also seeks to significantly cut and restructure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. Under the White House’s proposal, SNAP would face cuts of $214 billion over the next 10 years. Furthermore, the White House’s proposal would eliminate family nutritional choice, and instead mandate government-picked food boxes for SNAP recipients. I have significant concerns over the logistics of such a program, and its ability to cater to individualized nutritional and health requirements. Furthermore, socializing food choice would take away business from local grocery stores and further contribute to the prevalence of food deserts in low income communities. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, I look forward to conducting a careful examination of the potential impacts of this proposal.

“Fortunately, this is just beginning of the FY 2019 budget process. Last week I voted for, and Congress passed, a budget deal that will provide federal agencies the stability and certainty they need to effectively fulfill their missions. The power of the purse ultimately lies with the Congress, and as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact a budget that is both responsible and fair for all Americans.”

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