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FRAC Statement: House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Proposal

Below is an update from the Food Research Action Center on the current Farm Bill deliberations.  We share FRAC's deep disappointment and frustration with the House Ag Committee's proposed $16M cuts to SNAP. The Massachusetts Food SNAP Coalition is committed to continue the battle to protect SNAP benefits. Both the House Ag and Senate Farm Bill proposals will harm thousands of low income Massachusetts households.
Please take this opportunity to call and thank Congressman Jim McGovern (House Ag Committee member) for filing the amendment to reverse the SNAP cut - which was voted down by the Ag Committee. Congressman McGovern's Worcester number is: (508) 831-7356.  Please also take every opportunity with your colleagues, family, friends and local press to speak out against draconian cuts that take food from the tables of low income households! We will keep you posted as the Farm Bill deliberations progress. The battle is far from over !!
NOTE:  The July Food SNAP Improvement Coalition Boston meeting is Tuesday, July 24, 2012 (4th Tuesday of the month).  This will be the last Coalition meeting until September. More to follow on the Coalition agenda.

FRAC Statement: House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill Proposal

Washington, D.C. – July 12, 2012 – The Farm Bill proposal passed early this morning by the House Agriculture Committee slashes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $16 billion over ten years. It does this mainly by restricting states’ ability to coordinate SNAP with two other low-income programs.

Specifically, the cuts would restrict the broad-based Categorical Eligibility (Cat El) option that allows states to coordinate SNAP gross income and asset rules for participants enrolled in other programs, and limit states’ options to operate “heat and eat” policies. The cuts particularly target seniors and working poor families. The proposed cuts would have the following consequences:

  • Limiting Cat-El would result in millions of people each year losing benefits –1.8 million according to the CBO, or from 2 to 3 million, according to the Administration. The CBO also estimates that approximately 280,000 school-age children in those low-income households would no longer be deemed eligible for free school meals through their receipt of SNAP benefits.
  • Limiting “Heat and Eat” would result in an additional 500,000 SNAP participating households losing $90 a month in benefits, according to CBO.

Every cut to SNAP means less food in the refrigerators and the cupboards of the hungriest people in America – children, seniors, working families, unemployed workers, people with disabilities and others. And such cuts have been rejected by the American public. Seventy-seven percent of voters say that cutting SNAP would be the wrong way to reduce government spending.

“These cuts mean lost meals for hungry households,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “These cuts are at odds with every bipartisan deficit proposal discussed over the past year – Simpson-Bowles, Gang of Six, and others – as well as the Budget Control Act, which protected SNAP from cuts. We urge the House of Representatives to reject these cuts and pass a Farm Bill that preserves the strong structure of SNAP.”