Capitol Hill was bustling with activity last week as lawmakers scramble to tackle key legislative issues, but one BIG bill captured the most attention, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more often referred to as the farm bill. After months of speculation and many hours of debate, the farm bill was defeated on the House floor by a vote of 198-213. The American Heart Association is opposed to the bill and urged the House Agriculture Committee to go back to the drawing board and produce a bipartisan bill. To stay up to date on the 2018 farm bill you can text SNAP to 46839.
hero_image_alt_text===Text SNAP to 46839
thumbnail_alt_text===Farm Bill Update
The farm bill is a multi-year piece of legislation that comprehensively addresses agriculture, food, nutrition, hunger, and public health policies. These programs were last reauthorized in 2014 and are set to expire later this year, unless Congress can pass a new bill or agree to extend the 2014 bill temporarily.
Farm bills directly impact the daily lives of all Americans. These policies can improve access to healthy foods and make them more affordable for consumers, which are important to improving health outcomes and ensuring a strong economy. The farm bill also sets policy for the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which provides food purchasing assistance to some of the most vulnerable, including children, the elderly, the disabled, veterans, the underemployed, and low and no-income people across the country.
The House bill would have taken SNAP benefits away from millions of struggling Americans. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office suggests at least one million would be removed from the program, and five to seven million would be impacted. Data shows that SNAP plays a vital role in providing food security to more than 45 million beneficiaries, which in turn positively impacts health and economic self-sufficiency. Additionally, without a chance for public comment or committee discussion, an amendment was added that would have devastated the hard fought for nutrition standards for school foods, taking us back to the days of pizza and french fries for every meal.
We know that the bill could still come up again in a revised form and the association will continue to monitor the situation and look for ways to work with legislators to produce a better bill. Additionally, we expect to U.S. Senate to offer their version of the bill in early June. We hope that the Senate version will be significantly less partisan and will put the health and nutrition needs of millions of Americans first. We look forward to working with the Senate on their bill and will be calling on you to use your voice to protect vulnerable Americans and to ensure health and diet quality remains a priority for Congress as the farm bill moves through the legislative process.
To quickly sign up for updates on the 2018 Farm Bill simply text SNAP to 46839.