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Congressman Al Lawson

Representing the 5th District of Florida

U.S. Rep. Lawson Votes to Protect Florida’s Families and American Farmers and to Re-Open the Department of Agriculture

January 10, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) joined House Democrats to pass the FY 2019 Department of Agriculture and FDA appropriations bill to re-open this essential government agency to guarantee Florida’s families receive critical SNAP benefits, ensure the FDA and USDA can continue to inspect food and prevent public health epidemics, and safeguard a strong, robust farmer safety net that provides certainty to our rural economy. 

“Every day that our nation remains in a government shutdown, our families needlessly suffer,” Rep. Lawson said.  “If this shutdown continues, more than 3,656,000 Floridians – 64 percent of whom are in families with children – are at risk of going hungry without the critical nutrition assistance needed to grow and thrive. At the same time, this shutdown throws into jeopardy farmers’ and growers’ ability to provide the food necessary to feed our communities, while threatening crucial investments in rural infrastructure and universal broadband.”

Additionally, the ongoing shutdown endangers the health of Florida’s communities as hundreds of FDA and USDA food inspectors are being forced to stop doing their jobs, putting the safety of the food Americans eat at risk.

On Day One of the 116th Congress, the House Democratic Majority took the first steps to restore certainty to people's lives by passing a complete funding package with Senate Republicans’ language to re-open government.  Yet, Senate Republicans refused to bring that bill up for a vote. Over the coming days, Democrats are taking action to re-open all government agencies by passing individual, bipartisan appropriations bills to meet the needs of Florida’s families.