Income Support – Senate Approves Bipartisan Farm Bill

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed by a vote of 86 to 11 its version of the “Farm Bill” (Manager’s Amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill, H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018). The bill reauthorizes farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It is a bipartisan bill that did not include cuts and other provisions that were contained in the House of Representative version of the bill. The next step will be a negotiation between the House and Senate to find a compromise between the two approaches. More than 11 million people with disabilities rely on SNAP to help put food on the table. For more information about The Arc’s position see our statement.

Miscellaneous News – White House Releases Major Government Restructuring Proposal

Last week, the White House announced a proposal to make major changes to the structure of government agencies. The most prominent change proposed is the merger of the Departments of Education and Labor. Additionally, the proposal moves non-commodity nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which would be renamed the Department of Health and Public Welfare. If legislation is introduced to make these changes, The Arc will assess the impact on programs critical to people with disabilities.

Income Support – House Passes Farm Bill with Cuts to Basic Food Assistance

On June 21, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 213-211 the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2, also known as the “Farm Bill”). The bill reauthorizes farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If enacted, the House bill would make major cuts to basic food assistance under SNAP. The Arc has strongly opposed the House bill. In contrast, the Senate Agriculture Committee recently marked up its own bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (S.3042), which protects SNAP. Read The Arc’s statement on passage of the House Farm Bill.

Income Support – Senate Agriculture Committee Releases Draft Farm Bill; Schedules Markup

Last week, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry released draft text of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The draft represents the Committee’s bipartisan proposal to reauthorize the Farm Bill, which establishes farm policies and programs and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Committee has scheduled a meeting to review and vote on the bill on Wednesday, June 13. Visit the Committee web site for more information and live video the day of the hearing.

Income Support – House Defeats Farm Bill with SNAP Cuts

On May 18, the House of Representatives defeated the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R.2), more commonly known as the “Farm Bill,” by a vote of 198-213. If passed, this bill would have caused significant cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or “Food Stamp” benefits and dramatically expanded work requirements. New job training programs would be paid for by cuts in SNAP which would be insufficient to meet the need created by the work requirements. In total, the bill would have caused an estimated 2 million people to lose their SNAP benefits. For more information, read The Arc’s official statement.

Income Support – House Committee Advances Farm Bill with Cuts to Food Assistance Program

Last week, the House Agriculture Committee approved the Agriculture and Nutrition Assistance Act of 2018 (H.R.2), also known as the “Farm Bill,” which reauthorizes farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill proposes deep cuts to food assistance under SNAP: an estimated 2 million people would lose their SNAP food assistance or see their benefits reduced, over 10 years. The Committee vote set the stage for the bill to advance to the House floor; a date for a vote on the bill by the full House has not yet been set. The Senate has not yet announced its plans for the Farm Bill reauthorization. Visit the House Agriculture Committee YouTube channel for archived video of the markup. The Arc opposes this legislation.

Income Support – House Committee to Mark Up Farm Bill; Cuts to Food Assistance Proposed

Last week, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) released a draft of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), also known as the “Farm Bill,” to reauthorize farm programs and policy as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On net, the Chairman’s draft bill proposes deep cuts to food assistance under SNAP: an estimated 2 million people would lose their SNAP food assistance or see their benefits reduced. On Wednesday, April 18, the House Agriculture Committee will mark up the Chairman’s proposed bill. Visit the Committee’s web site for live video the day of the hearing. The Arc opposes this legislation.

Temporary SNAP Benefit Enhancement Ends November 1

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided a temporary increase in benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly known as the food stamp program). Under ARRA, that temporary enhancement is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013. As a result, every household receiving SNAP will experience a benefit reduction. A household of one will see an $11 cut in monthly benefits, a household of two will see a $20 cut in monthly benefits, a household of 3 will see a $29 cut in monthly benefits, and a household of four will see a $36 cut in monthly benefits. Learn more from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.