Roe Statement on Child Nutrition Legislation
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) made the following statement on the House floor regarding Child Nutrition legislation:
Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to this legislation.
You will be hard pressed to find many members on either side of the aisle who oppose the child nutrition program. No child should have to go hungry – that’s something all of us agree on.
This bill, however, represents everything that is wrong with Congress right now. First, we have done virtually no committee consideration of this legislation. The Education and Labor Committee marked up an entirely different bill. Many Republicans offered amendments in committee, but like so many other bills in Nancy Pelosi’s Congress, no amendments were permitted on the floor today.
Second, this bill spends even more. What the American people have been saying all year to us is to STOP SPENDING. They want us to look for savings within existing programs. If there are worthy improvements to be made, we can use those savings to make these programs better, but you can’t get out of a ditch if you don’t stop digging, and our fiscal situation is the Grand Canyon of all ditches.
Now, I’m sure we’re going to hear all about how this spending is quote unquote paid for with spending cuts. While that’s an improvement over paying for bills with tax increases, the fact is many on the other side of the aisle and a host of groups are already insisting that the cuts being made here today to the food stamp program – or SNAP as it’s now called – will be restored. How dishonest is it to say the bill’s paid for with spending cuts that we have no intention of keeping in place?
If we defeat this legislation today, we can come back and start considering each new program today on their own merits. There may be some improvements to the program I’d vote for, and I’d be happy to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this program after we’ve had a chance to carefully review it, but until then, let’s keep the existing program in place.