CHN: Farm Bill – and Proposed SNAP Cuts – Heads to Conference
On July 18, the House agreed by unanimous consent to go to conference with the Senate on a farm bill, which includes the reauthorization of SNAP/food stamps. A similar Senate vote is expected this week. A conference committee, which will be made up of House and Senate members, will be tasked with working out the differences between the two different versions of the bill that have been passed by the two chambers. The Senate passed (86-11) its bipartisan version of the Farm Bill on June 28 without the deep cuts and harmful changes to SNAP that were included in the bill the House narrowly passed (213-211) on June 21.
The Senate bill maintains current work requirements and eligibility requirements, unlike the House bill that expanded work requirements and tightened eligibility requirements. Advocates strongly oppose the House farm bill, which the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) estimates would cause more than 1 million low-income households with more than 2 million people – particularly low-income working families with children – to lose their benefits altogether or have them reduced. Roughly 265,000 children in low-income families would also lose access to free meals at school under the House bill.
Negotiations among House and Senate conferees are expected to continue throughout August. Advocates like those at FRAC will “continue to urge policymakers to protect and strengthen SNAP and reject the House Farm Bill.” For more information, see the July 2 Human Needs Report, CHN’s Protecting Basic Needs resource page, and the recording of a webinar CHN cosponsored with CBPP, Feeding America, and FRAC.