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Rep. Jodey Arrington Delivers Passionate Remarks on the House Floor on SNAP in 2018 Farm Bill

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Washington, April 26, 2018 | comments
Today, House Agriculture Committee member, Rep. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) took to the House Floor to highlight the positive changes included in the 2018 Farm Bill to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients with opportunities to improve their futures through investments in education and training.

Rep. Arrington's remarks:

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I appreciate the gentleman, my colleague, Democratic colleague, for his comments and his personal testimony. And, I respect his dad and the heritage of work that he left for his son.

I'm on the Agriculture Committee, and I got to say I'm confused, I'm perplexed and quite frankly, I'm outraged in many ways with some of my colleagues' comments about work and the work requirements that we're putting in the food stamp program.

This doesn't have to do anything about children, about disabled people, about elderly. This about requiring people who are able-bodied to work who aren't working. We're long overdue for reforms in this country. We're long overdue to have policies in place that encourage work. We want people to have the blessing and dignity of work. We want people to fulfill their god-given potential. We want them to contribute to society. We have six million jobs, surplus jobs. We want folks to it make the best out of the life that God has given them for our communities, for their families, for themselves.

This unbelievable, in the United States of America. We're asking that if you receive assistance from hardworking, tax-paying Americans, that you would just work 20 hours a week or volunteer or be trained to work. That's all we're asking. I see hardworking people throughout the gallery, and I bet you they feel the same way. I have seen the polls, over 80% of the people in this country say more people need to work and pay taxes and contribute to this great country.

I believe in the safety net. I believe in compassion. I believe that's the heart of God, and I think it should be reflected in our policies. But, God also expects personal responsibility. And, he expects us to have responsible policies that pull people up and out of a cycle of dependency and poverty. That's not compassion. That's not decency. That's not common sense.

I support this farm bill. And I appreciate the tone, I really do, of my colleague. He's a gentleman. I don't even know him, but I can tell he's a gentleman and statesman. But, I cannot listen to folks who, in my opinion, are scaring folks. and the public. and my colleagues who are on the Agriculture Committee and here in the House from not voting to make responsible, reasonable, compassionate and commonsense reforms to food stamps.

We need to do that in every government assistance program. We need to pull people out of the welfare trap. We need to equip them and encourage them and support them to be the best that they can be.
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