Press Release | 113th Congress
Opening Statement by Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson
Hearing to review the implementation of Section 4022 of the Agricultural Act of 2014: Pilot projects to reduce dependency and increase work requirements and work effort under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
--As Prepared for Delivery--
“Good morning. Thank you Chairman Lucas for holding today’s hearing and welcome, Secretary Vilsack, to the Committee.
“The work pilot programs that we’re looking at today are an example of the bipartisan, cooperative work the Agriculture Committee does so well. We authorized these pilot projects because we value work and we want to put people back to work.
“The farm bill invested $200 million to develop and improve innovative approaches to SNAP employment and training. The bill provides USDA with very clear direction for implementing these pilots and ensures that funding will create sustainable jobs by requiring annual reporting on set performance goals.
“Keeping a close eye on USDA’s farm bill implementation should be one of this Committee’s top priorities. But since USDA is still awaiting work pilot project applications, we might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves today.
“Of course, it’s always good to keep educating ourselves, particularly when it comes to SNAP. I do hope, however, that we can keep the focus on education and oversight and resist outside pressure to make changes. Opening up the farm bill, after the nearly four years it took to complete, could be a recipe for disaster.
“Again, I thank the Chair for holding today’s hearing and look forward to the Secretary’s testimony.”