Clyburn Statement On Farm Bill Passage

Jan 29, 2014 Issues: Energy

WASHINGTON --  Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today released the following statement on the passage of the Farm Bill:

“I am very pleased that the Farm Bill we passed today contains many important provisions for rural America and communities of need.  One of these provisions, the Rural Energy Savings Program, which I have championed for several years, will provide loans to American families in rural communities to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.  Loans for upfront costs of energy efficiency upgrades will be guaranteed by participating electric cooperatives to minimize any risk to the taxpayer.  Utilizing “on-bill financing,” consumers will realize energy savings immediately on their electric bill, which will then be used to repay the loan over 10 years.

“These loans will enable working families to finance energy efficiency investments in persistently impoverished areas.  This will create jobs in rural communities, provide significant savings for homeowners, and help protect the environment for all Americans.

“Electric cooperatives in South Carolina developed this model several years ago.  I have proudly promoted this homegrown idea, and I thank the Agriculture Committee leaders for including it in the final bill.

“I also support the final compromise on the nutrition provisions.  The House-passed Farm Bill would have slashed $40 billion from SNAP food stamp assistance.  This outrageous proposal would have had devastating effects on low income American families.  This compromise bill contains a much smaller reduction of $8 billion, achieved through reform of the system that will protect beneficiaries from cuts.  I worked with CBC Chair Marcia Fudge and Senator Stabenow on these provisions, and I thank them for their leadership in protecting this vital lifeline for people in need. 

“I have often said that compromise means nobody gets everything they want but enough people get what they can accept.  I certainly didn’t get everything I wanted out of this Farm Bill.  But it contains many worthy provisions and reasonable reforms, and I can accept this compromise.”