(Washington, D.C.)Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after meeting with President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Agriculture, Governor Sonny Perdue.   

“At a time when the families I represent have so many questions about the Trump Administration’s divisive and extreme agenda, I appreciate Governor Perdue sitting down with me today to discuss his thoughts about serving in the Cabinet and about programs at the Department of Agriculture that help working families in both the rural and urban areas of Washington state. I’m proud to come from a state that has a strong agricultural economy, which is supported by several Department of Agriculture programs that address issues from crop insurance to conservation and rural development. Continued commitment to these programs is critical to agricultural producers and rural communities, and I urged Governor Perdue to commit to protecting these. Just as important are food support and nutrition programs run by the Department of Agriculture, including SNAP, the school breakfast and lunch programs, and other key programs that offer a helping hand to fight hunger. Over 300,000 kids in Washington state are at risk of going hungry, and these programs are essential for working families who are one crisis away from going hungry.

“Republicans have targeted these programs for years, and I am concerned that under the pressure of President Trump’s extreme agenda, programs that help the most vulnerable members of our society are even more at risk. I asked for Governor Perdue’s commitment to continue supporting SNAP, school nutrition programs, and the summer nutrition programs that help kids during the summer months. I made very clear that decreased access or reduced benefits would be unacceptable – and that in order to earn my support, I needed assurance that he could be a voice for families and not simply another voice for millionaires and billionaires in this Trump cabinet. I hope Governor Perdue considers our discussion as he moves through the confirmation process, and that he publicly makes his support for these programs clear before his nomination comes before the full Senate.”