From: Michael Petit
Every Child Matters Education Fund
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) applauds the House of Representatives for decisively rejecting a Farm Bill that would have harmed millions of struggling people in need of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The committee bill put on the floor would have cost two million low-income individuals their benefits entirely, 210,000 children would have lost their free school meals, and an additional 850,000 households would have seen their benefits cut by an average of $90 a month. Then, amendments adopted on the floor would have added uncounted more low-income people to the bill’s victims.
“House Members who voted against this bill because of its awful SNAP provisions have shown they care about the hungriest people in America – children, seniors, working families, unemployed workers, and individuals with disabilities – who are struggling every day to meet their basic needs and to put food on the table,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “The House did the right thing, and we applaud them for it.”
FRAC and hundreds of other groups were opposed to passage of this harmful bill not only for the more than $20 billion in cuts to SNAP, but also due to harmful amendments adopted on the floor that would have allowed states to conduct random drug testing on food stamp applicants, permanently banned certain ex-offenders who have served out their sentences from ever being eligible for benefits, and imposed punitive and unrealistic work and training rules that would have led to the end of benefits for people desperate for jobs but unable to find them.
“The House Farm Bill would have punished and stigmatized low-income Americans, made millions hungrier, built new red tape barriers and made it even more difficult for additional millions in need to receive assistance, all while unnecessarily raising administrative costs. It was an indefensible bill, and the House was right to vote it down,” said Weill.