Hi there,

Last week I told you about the National Defense Authorization Act – known in national security circles as the NDAA – and my role in moving it forward through the House Armed Services Committee.

Another big hearing you probably heard about focused on the Farm Bill, which is Congress’ once-every-five-years chance to make sure we can feed ourselves by ourselves.

As a national security professional, and the only Michigander to sit on the House Agriculture Committee, I’m committed to the idea that food security is national security. (You’ll also hear me point out that we’re the most agriculturally diverse state with regular access to water – a dig at my California colleagues.)

There was a great deal of agreement on major portions of the bill version we debated, but, overall, it missed the mark. The bill we considered would take food away from hungry families with the largest cuts in decades to SNAP – a nutrition program that Michiganders rely on, it would cut programs that help Michigan farmers protect our Great Lakes, and it would restrict the Department of Agriculture’s ability to respond to crises like the avian flu cases that are affecting our state.

Luckily, Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee Chairwoman Stabenow has drafted her own bill that does much of what the House bill does, without cutting out pieces that are vital for Michigan.

Bipartisan work in Congress is still possible: The House Armed Services Committee passed the defense authorization bill with a bipartisan 57-1 vote. We got our work done by moving in a bipartisan fashion.

With narrow majorities in the House and Senate, if we’re going to pass a Farm Bill into law, we will need to compromise like adults. I’ll continue to urge my colleagues to work toward the bipartisan Farm Bill we need and our communities deserve.

– Rep. Elissa Slotkin