The 2023 farm bill is headed for defeat if Republican leaders meddle with SNAP, said Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee on Monday, pointing to floor votes that delayed enactment of the 2014 and 2018 bill. It was the second warning by the committee’s Democrats against additional cuts in food stamps following revisions in the debt limit deal in June.
In a marked contrast to the polarized House, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Thursday for larger spending on domestic and international food assistance. Also unlike the House, the bill did not propose new restrictions on SNAP eligibility, a key issue in the debt limit bill enacted early this month.
House Democrats announced their opposition to further cuts in SNAP on Wednesday amid signs the farm bill will be the next battlefront over work requirements for safety net programs. “We stand united against efforts to take food away from children, families, or any vulnerable American — in the farm bill or any legislation,” said Rep. David Scott, the senior Democrat on the Agriculture Committee.
One in six of the older Americans targeted by an expansion of SNAP work requirements in the debt ceiling bill negotiated by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden lives in California, said the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Wednesday.
About 1 million Americans would be affected by the House Republican plan to apply more broadly a 90-day limit on SNAP benefits to people who do not work at least 20 hours a week, said a think tank on Monday. “Not everyone newly subject to the requirement would lose benefits,” said the Center on …
House Republican leaders unveiled a 320-page bill that would cut federal spending by $130 billion in the new fiscal year, including wider application of a 90-day limit on SNAP benefits to people working less than 20 hours a week. Agriculture Committee chair Glenn Thompson said the leadership’s bill “is a sensible proposal” to rein in federal spending.
When Congress writes the new farm bill, it should maintain the nutrition safety net that is headlined by food stamps, said Georgia Rep. David Scott, the senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow has said for months that "we're not going to go backwards" on SNAP, possibly the most explosive issue in overhauling U.S. food and farm policy.
One in seven SNAP households buys groceries online, according to the USDA — phenomenal growth since the option first became available in New York State in spring 2019. Now, with online shopping offered in 49 states, the Agriculture Department is looking to flesh out the network of stores that offer digital sales to food stamp recipients.
Food stamps had a greater effect in reducing poverty rates in rural America than in urban areas when viewed through the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, said an American Enterprise Institute newsletter. Northwestern University professor Diane Schanzenbach calculated that SNAP lowered the poverty rate in rural areas by 1.4 percentage points compared to a 0.8 point reduction in urban America.
The government will spend an additional $20 billion a year on food stamps, a 27-percent increase in SNAP benefits from pre-pandemic levels, after updating its figures on the cost of a healthy diet, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. Anti-hunger groups said the additional 40 cents a meal per person would help millions of Americans avoid hunger.(No paywall)
The Biden administration will increase SNAP benefits by an average of 25 percent on Oct. 1 — the largest increase in the history of food stamps — based on a reassessment of the cost of a nutritious diet. Analysts and anti-hunger advocates said on Sunday that the increase would improve the diets of millions of poor Americans.(No paywall)
The government is forecast to spend twice as much on SNAP this fiscal year — $114 billion — as it did before the pandemic, and the lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee said Democrats wrote a blank check for food-stamp spending in the new fiscal year. Majority-party Democrats, meanwhile, said they wanted to make sure SNAP recipients receive their benefits.
Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, face significant hurdles in putting nutritious food on the table each month, according to a USDA study released yesterday. (No paywall)
Some 42 million people received food stamps according to the latest count by the government, roughly 5 million people, or 14 percent, more than before the pandemic took hold in March 2020. Congress temporarily increased benefits 15 percent in response to the pandemic, a boost that is set to expire Sept. 30.
Households with very low incomes will be eligible for an additional $95 a month or more in emergency allotments of food stamps, said the Biden administration. The additional aid to an estimated 25 million people would amount to $1 billion a month nationwide and ends a dispute over pandemic aid that began in the Trump era.
New USDA data show that SNAP enrollment declined last fall from a pandemic-driven high over the summer. In June 2020, 43 million Americans were enrolled in SNAP; by November, the number had dropped to 41.4 million.
Food stamp enrollment has surged by 6 million people since the pandemic hit the United States, said the USDA on Wednesday in its first update of SNAP participation in months. Some 42.9 million people received food stamps at latest count, the highest number since October 2017.
Amid the flurry of executive orders that marked his first 48 hours in office, President Joe Biden announced on Friday that he will ask the USDA to expand two critical food-assistance programs, as hunger continues to plague millions during the pandemic. The orders will raise SNAP benefits and increase funds awarded through the Pandemic-EBT program, which transfers the dollar amount of school lunches onto debit cards to compensate for meals kids miss while schools are closed. The early moves confirm expectations that the new administration will be serious about tackling food insecurity, through both general financial assistance and targeted food aid.(No paywall)