WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Quaker lobby, The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), thanks lawmakers for rejecting dangerous changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in today’s House vote on the Farm Bill or the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act (H.R. 2).
Had it passed, the House version of the Farm Bill would have eliminated or reduced SNAP and other vital benefits for up to two million Americans.
“We are grateful that lawmakers rejected a hyper-partisan bill that would have increased hunger and hardship for millions of American families,” said Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary. “This vote affirms the need for Congress to move forward with a bipartisan bill that truly reduces the risk of hunger for individuals and families across America, thereby upholding fundamental Quaker values of equity and justice.”
The Farm Bill reauthorizes SNAP, formerly called food stamps, which helps more than 40 million Americans put food on the table. However, the program has been vulnerable to devastating cuts for many years now. The House Farm Bill would have imposed stricter requirements for SNAP beneficiaries to find work before they lose benefits without providing substantive training and assistance for adults on the program to get jobs.
“Work is important, but SNAP is not a jobs program. It is an extremely effective anti-hunger program. We appreciate that lawmakers could see that forcing families off critical food assistance while instituting a huge new and untested bureaucracy would be both dangerous and counterproductive,” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL Legislative Director for Domestic Policy. “Passing such a bill would have been a devastating blow to millions of Americans at this time of the month—the third week—when SNAP benefits are typically used up.”
After a dramatic vote on Friday, it is unclear whether lawmakers will revisit the House Farm Bill. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) may attempt to bring the vote back up in the near future. FCNL urges both chambers to move a genuinely bipartisan bill that protects SNAP and institutes policies that will truly address hunger.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.
Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL lobbies Congress and the administration for U.S. policies that advance peace, justice, and good government.