Lawmakers Clear Way for SNAP Changes
Key House Members have approved a path forward for consideration of a farm bill reauthorization proposal (H.R. 2) that would significantly restructure and impose strict work requirements for individuals to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.
In particular, H.R. 2 raises the age for mandatory workforce participation, adds harsher penalties for individuals who do not meet the employment requirements, and imposes more stringent reporting requirements for states without additional funding to help them comply. Independent assessments have estimated that, if implemented, these changes could lead to 1-2 million low-income beneficiaries losing their access to SNAP benefits because they would no longer be eligible for nutrition assistance.
The federal-state SNAP program currently serves nearly 5 million older adults—many of whom could be at risk of either reduced or lost benefits should the current plan become law. While n4a hasn't historically weighed in on changes to SNAP, we encourage agencies that are concerned that older adults you serve could lose vital assistance to learn more about this proposal in the latest post from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To weigh in on behalf of the SNAP beneficiaries you serve, call the Capitol Switchboard (202.224.3121) or visit https://www.house.gov/representatives to be connected with your Member of Congress. It remains unclear whether House Republicans have the votes to pass this bill, but if they do the bill may move through the lower chamber today. Senate leadership has given a cool reception to the House proposal for SNAP, and at least for now remains committed to engaging in a bipartisan process to reauthorize the farm bill.