Farm Bill: A Vital Investment in U.S. Infrastructure and Rural Development

Washington, D.C. - National League of Cities (NLC) President Chris Coleman, mayor, Saint Paul, Minn. released this statement calling on the U.S. Senate to advance the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 ("Farm Bill") (H.R. 2642):

"We applaud the House for moving beyond the partisan rancor and passing the "Farm Bill" this week; city officials know this bill is vitally important to the health and well-being of their residents and to our nation's rural and small communities for its economic development investments.

"We call on the Senate to quickly send this to the President's desk to ensure that every community has access to clean water and safe wastewater systems, resources for managing growth and programs to help homegrown entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed.

"Among other things, this legislation represents a welcome increase in investment in our nation's infrastructure and rural development. It comes at a critical time for cities and towns, many of which are dusting off plans for local improvements and projects that had to be shelved during the Great Recession.

"We are pleased the bill encourages better health through healthy food initiatives that increase access to local foods, improve nutrition for children and seniors and promote food security in disadvantaged areas.

"However, not every priority within the vast scope of the Farm Bill was adequately funded. The reduction of funding for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, is dismaying given the number of families and children who are increasingly facing hunger in this great nation. We hope Congress will address in the coming months."

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.