Last week, the House passed a Farm Bill without reauthorizing SNAP or any nutrition program, including TEFAP, by a vote of 216 to 208.
Our staff, along with Feeding America and other partners, weighed in with House members in opposition to splitting the bill in two and urged members to vote “no” on any bill that did not contain SNAP (this is the former food stamp program). We will have a fight ahead of us to protect SNAP from cuts that would reduce or entirely eliminate benefits for needy families.
It remains to be seen whether the House will take up a nutrition bill, which would include funding for TEFAP (the program that supplies the Food Bank with food for our Food Assistance Program) and SNAP. The results of the split could play out in three different ways (if you’re curious to learn more about the process, do not hesitate to call or email):
- The House could bring the nutrition title to the floor in the near future. In this scenario, we would expect even deeper cuts to SNAP, as well as harmful policy changes such as a block grant. Any bill that is passed would presumably be included as part of Farm Bill conference negotiations. The Senate opposes separating the bill and would push for a single bill in conference.
- The House and Senate could move forward with a conference committee without passing the nutrition title in the House. Because the Senate bill included a nutrition title, those programs would be part of conference negotiations. While the Senate nutrition title of $4 billion in cuts to SNAP would be the starting point for negotiations, the House conferees would likely push for deeper SNAP cuts.
- House Leadership is also exploring the possibility of bringing up an entitlement reform bill later this year, which would include reforms and funding cuts to SNAP as well as other low-income programs like Medicaid. While this bill would be dead-on-arrival in the Senate, the House could push to use this bill as the negotiation starting point for SNAP.
Regardless of how this plays out, a negotiated bill would need to pass both the House and Senate. We will continue to work towards a Farm Bill that protects SNAP and the nation’s children, seniors, and working families. As this situation is obviously very fluid, we will need to be ready to weigh-in quickly once we have a better understanding of what the next steps will be, so stay tuned for more information.
Questions, please contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-771-1304.