Washington, DC—Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin on the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill:

“The nation’s mayors applaud the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill by both the House and Senate. Mayors across the country recognize the critical impact the Farm Bill has on cities by providing key investments that support our working families and protect the most vulnerable among us.

“We are especially grateful for the hard work of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Senate Agriculture ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and House Agriculture ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who fought to make sure that the bill would continue to lift up working Americans.  By pushing back on proposed cuts to SNAP, they ensured that nearly 40 million low-income Americans, more than half of whom are children and seniors, can continue to buy groceries and put food on the table for their families.  In one of the world’s richest nations, no American should ever go hungry.

“We are encouraged by efforts in both the House and Senate to set aside partisan differences and come together to pass legislation that responds to the very real issues around food security, health, economic growth and protecting the environment.  They demonstrated what mayors have always known to be true—that real leadership is radically pragmatic.  When we focus on practical, common-sense solutions rather than strict ideological beliefs, we have the capacity to strengthen our communities and build a more inclusive and equitable country for all of our citizens.”