- Economic Justice
Update: Where the Farm Bill Stands Now
On Thursday, June 28, the Senate passed H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, better known as the Senate farm bill. The bill passed by an overwhelming vote of 86-11 and without any harmful amendments. This was a huge victory.
Despite strong calls from some to cut or make harmful changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), only one harmful SNAP amendment received a vote. That amendment was voted down 68-30. How did we get such a strong bipartisan vote for a bill that protects nutrition assistance for struggling families across America? Leadership in the Senate was committed to working together, and advocates around the country were extremely vocal in the need to protect SNAP. Thank you for your advocacy!
The Senate farm bill not only avoids the harmful provisions found in the House farm bill, it protects and strengthens SNAP. The bill would improve program integrity, expands pilot programs for underserved populations, and better connects SNAP recipients with effective workforce development opportunities.
In stark contrast, the House version of the farm bill, which passed by only two votes, would restructure SNAP, make the existing work requirements even more draconian, underfund SNAP’s Employment and Training programs, and create a huge new bureaucracy that would shift money away from nutrition assistance and towards administrative red tape. Under the House farm bill, at least 2 million people would see their SNAP benefits cut or eliminated altogether. Those likely to lose food assistance under the House bill include working families, caregivers, children, people with disabilities, and older Americans.
The House and Senate versions of the farm bill will now go to conference where legislators will negotiate a final bill. Urge your Senators and Representative to use the Senate bill as the basis for conference negotiations rather than the House’s partisan provisions. We need your advocacy to make sure the final bill is a strong bipartisan bill that protects SNAP from cuts or harmful changes!