AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019

January 10, 2019
Floor Statements

 Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Bishop for his distinguished leadership, and I thank the gentleman for the opportunity to mention several of the issues relevant to the jurisdiction of the Education and Labor Committee.

   Madam Speaker, this legislation funds critical nutrition assistance programs that serve children and families. Nutrition programs are among the most important and cost-effective investments in the Federal budget.

   Study after study demonstrates that freedom from hunger is the foundation that children and families need to lift themselves out of poverty. Beyond the tragedy of any child going to school on an empty stomach, we cannot expect hungry children to reach their full potential at school or to grow up into healthy adults unless they have proper nutrition.

   This reckless shutdown has left our constituents with uncertainty and anxiety about their access to programs they rely on, such as WIC, SNAP, or school meals. Now, while these programs are still available and USDA is temporarily paying benefits, it is imperative that we secure funding for these vital programs to ensure that children and families are not left behind.

   This should not be a controversial bill. But the shutdown has created a crisis, so we are not going to go back and forth over the details. We are going to pass a bill.

   The Republican Senate passed this exact language with overwhelming support last year, and we have to pass something. Some have said we shouldn't pass this bill, but they have not said we should pass anything. We have to pass a bill to reopen the government.

   Madam Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation.