House Passes Farm Bill That Could Mean $20 Billion Cut In SNAP Benefits

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images

House farm bill could mean loss in SNAP and school lunches for 265,000 kids

While we’ve been distracted by “I don’t really care” jackets and migrant kids being detained by the thousands, the House quietly passed a breathtakingly cruel farm bill that will have devastating effects on food stamp recipients and will toughen work requirements for those in need of benefits.

According to CNBC, in a very narrow 213-211 vote, the $867 billion farm bill was passed by the House, but contains provisions that aren’t in the Senate version of the bill, which could become an issue down the road. It has controversial provisions that could stop millions of Americans from receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. The Senate version didn’t contain major changes in food stamps.

“This bill does nothing to actually strengthen agriculture programs or help farmers caught in the president’s trade war,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass, in a release. “I hope the bipartisan process in the Senate leads to a better bill that strengthens our farm safety net and anti-hunger programs so this attack on our most vulnerable never reaches the president’s desk.”

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty numbers here and big surprise, they’re not good. The House bill cuts more than $20 billion in SNAP benefits over 10 years. The legislation could also cause 2 million low-income Americans to get less in benefits or lose them altogether. It could also mean 265,000 children no longer qualifying for free lunch at school.

The family values party, eh? If their values include trying to make people go hungry, sounds like the Grand Old Party is on a roll.

The House’s bill also pushes for stricter and tougher work requirements for people who receive benefits. Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy with United Way Worldwide says, “They’re trying to find ways to cut back on people who have access to SNAP, and frankly they’re trying to do it by putting in new work requirements. United Way agrees in the value and dignity of work. We want people to be able to be able to work and pull themselves out of even needing services and needing things like food stamps.”

Taylor also cites potential for misinformed voting because some of these greedy jerks have no idea that SNAP already has work requirements. “What we found was there were a lot of congressional offices voting on this bill that didn’t know that SNAP already has work requirements,” he said. “So I think there may be some misunderstanding about exactly what the requirements are in SNAP, which is unfortunate when you’re vote on a bill that is just creating obstacles for needy people.”

Something tells me that creating obstacles for needy people is their entire goal in the first place.

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