House Passes Farm Bill that Slashes Food Assistance

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, also known as the farm bill, in a close vote of 213-211. Twenty Republicans voted “no,” along with every Democratic member. This deeply flawed, partisan bill—which was made worse with the addition of several amendments during floor debate in May—undermines the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), our nation’s most important food assistance program.

SNAP is a highly efficient program that puts food on the table for millions of seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, working families, veterans, and many more. The House farm bill undercuts SNAP by immediately taking food away from people who need help to get by. It also jeopardizes food assistance for millions by creating extra paperwork and adding ineffective “work requirements.” Instead of connecting people to meaningful jobs that allow them to support themselves and their families, these requirements simply prevent people from getting the food they need to thrive.

Today’s vote is disappointing, but we are not giving up on preventing these harmful provisions from becoming law. Unlike the House, the Senate is considering a better farm bill that protects SNAP and builds on what works. As the Senate prepares for a floor vote on its bill, we are encouraged by the commitment to bipartisanship and urge Congressional leaders to move forward with the current Senate farm bill.