Senate and House Have Passed the Farm Bill, Now Headed to the White House for the President’s Signature
The final Farm Bill conference report was filed the evening of Monday, December 10. On December 11, the Senate passed the conference report, 87-13. The House passed the bill on December 12 by a vote of 369-47. Check out FRAC’s statement and stay tuned for an analysis of the nutrition title of the bill.
Farm Bill On the Hill – Latest News:
The Big Four negotiators (Senate and House Agriculture Committee leadership) continue to hammer out a Farm Bill agreement during the Lame Duck session, with the intention of getting a conference report passed by the expected adjournment date of December 21. On November 29, the Big Four issued a joint statement that they have “reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 Farm Bill.” Negotiators are currently awaiting a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score and could release the final bill as early as the week of December 10.
First public Farm Bill Conference public meeting took place on September 5; watch the webcast.
The House and Senate voted on July 18 and July 31, respectively, to move the Farm Bill to conference and appointed their conferees. Check out FRAC’s resource listing 2018 Farm Bill Conferees and their twitter handles. Also see 2018 Farm Bill Conference – Letters in Support of SNAP.
Before the House left for August Recess, leadership from both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees held their first conference meeting.
Senate passes a Farm Bill that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. See FRAC statement.
House Farm Bill passes on June 21.
Senate Agriculture Committee approved its farm bill on June 13, on a 20-1 vote. See bill text and section-by-section summary.
Anti-hunger advocates and dozens and dozens of groups representing children, women, older adults, veterans, people with disabilities, civil rights groups, religious and charitable entities, and formerly incarcerated individuals, worked together to defeat H.R. 2, a bill that would have thrown millions of people off of SNAP. See SNAP Support Letters, 115th Congress (pdf).
Sign up for FRAC’s Action Alerts to get the most up-to-date information on ways you can help protect and strengthen SNAP in the Farm Bill.
About the Farm Bill:
The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that authorizes most federal policies governing food and agriculture programs, including SNAP – the nation’s most critical anti-hunger program. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2018. SNAP is a mandatory program and will continue without the passage of a bill by the deadline.
Check out FRAC’s Farm Bill Resource Toolkit for House and Senate Farm Bill resources, including FRAC’s statements and analyses of the bills, links to the committees’ text and resources, SNAP support letters from advocates across the country, a Farm Bill Primer, and interactive mapping tools to find SNAP data for your state and community.
Congress Must Protect and Strengthen SNAP and Other Key Anti-Hunger Programs
Check out FRAC and Feeding America’s latest leave-behind (pdf), calling on Congress to protect and strengthen SNAP and other anti-hunger programs in the Farm Bill. Bring it with you when you visit your Members of Congress!
More than 3,000 Organizations Demonstrate Their Support to Safeguard the Federal Nutrition Programs in a Letter to President Trump and Congress
The letter urges ensuring a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families. See current list of signers (pdf). Sign your organization on to the letter.
Advocacy efforts at the state and local level have been critically important in strengthening and safeguarding federal food and nutrition programs. These are examples of past efforts to help you in developing messages to champion these programs.
Current SNAP Legislation (115th Congress, 2017-2018)
- SNAP for Kids Act of 2018S. 2723 — Introduced April 18, 2018 by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and four original co-sponsors.
What it does: Changes the SNAP benefits formula for children ages 5-17 years old by basing allotments on the “Low Cost” rather than the “Thrifty” Food Plan; and regularly updates the SNAP formula to ensure that the benefit will not fall behind as food costs rise. See the co-sponsors.
- Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2017H.R. 1276 – Introduced March 1, 2017 by Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) and 30 original co-sponsors.
What it does: Increases SNAP benefit adequacy by: replacing the Thrifty Food Plan with the Low-Cost Food Plan as the basis for SNAP benefits; eliminating the cap on the SNAP Excess Shelter Deduction; raising the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month; and authorizing a SNAP Standard Excess Medical Deduction for persons who are elderly or have disabilities (with a minimum standard of $140). Also protects certain jobless adults who are willing to work from being time limited out of SNAP if the state does not offer them SNAP Employment and Training (E& T) positions. See the co-sponsors.
Previous SNAP Legislation (114th Congress, 2015-2016)
- Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2016H.R.5215 – Introduced May 12, 2016 by Representative Alma Adams (D-NC) and eight original co-sponsors.
What it does: Authorizes a SNAP Standard Excess Medical Deduction for persons who are elderly or have disabilities (with a minimum standard of $140); replaces the Thrifty Food Plan with the Low-Cost Food Plan as the basis for SNAP benefits; eliminates the cap on the SNAP Excess Shelter Deduction; raises the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $25 per month; and exempts jobless adults from SNAP time limits if the state does not provide them with a SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E & T) slot. See the co-sponsors.
- SNAP Work Opportunities and Veteran Protection Act of 2015S. 2420 – Introduced December 17, 2015 by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
What it does: Preserves access to SNAP benefits for certain jobless able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are seeking work but who are not selected for a state job training or workfare program. Also exempts from time limits on their SNAP benefits military veterans who participate in a Veterans Affairs or State rehabilitation or employment program. See the co-sponsors.
- SNAP Work Opportunities Act of 2015H.R. 1025 – Introduced February 24, 2015 by Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA).
What it does: Preserves access to SNAP benefits for certain jobless able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) by exempting them from time limits on their SNAP benefits if they are not selected for a state job training or workfare program. See the co-sponsors.
- Food Security Improvement Act of 2015H.R. 3657 – Introduced September 30, 2015 by Representative Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL).
What it does: Improves SNAP by requiring benefits to be calculated using the government’s Low-Cost Food Plan instead of the Thrifty Food Plan. See the co-sponsors.