Important House Farm Bill Amendments to Watch
Updated, 6:15 a.m., 11:34 a.m., 1:23 p.m. 6/20/13
Debate on the House farm bill began today, with a final vote expected in the next week. The representatives will consider as many as 103 amendments, some of which could increase hunger, and others that would help hungry people. Below is a rundown of some of the key amendments Bread for the World will be closely monitoring. Ultimately, we are pushing for “no” votes on any final legislation that cuts SNAP (formerly food stamps) or food aid. Even if you have already done so, please call your representative at 1-800-326-4941 or send an email today.
The SNAP cuts included in the House bill could kick at least 2 million people off of the program, reduce benefits for more than 800,000 families, and leave 210,000 children without free school meals. Cuts to food aid programs could cost lives and hinder the ability of the United States to effectively reach millions of people in need. These cuts must not stand.
Amendments Bread for the World Supports
- McGovern Amendment (No.1): Restores the $20.5 billion in SNAP cuts included in the House bill by cutting commodity programs and crop insurance payments. Bread for the World strongly supports. Amendment No. 1 to restore SNAP funding failed in a recorded vote of 188 yays and 234 nays. To see how your representative voted, click here.
- Royce-Engel Amendment (No. 15): Includes common-sense reforms providing much needed flexibility in the Food for Peace program. Will help the United States reach an additional 4 million disaster victims through overseas food assistance without spending any additional U.S. taxpayer dollars. Bread for the World strongly supports. Amendment No. 15 to reform food aid narrowly failed in a recorded vote of 203 yays and 220 nays. To see how your representative voted, click here.
- Duckworth Amendment (No. 68): Requires USDA to conduct a study and report back to Congress its findings on the impact of SNAP cuts on demand for charitable food services. Amendment No. 68 adopted in a bloc-voice vote.
Amendments Bread for the World Opposes
A number of harmful amendments have been submitted that would reduce benefits or make access to the SNAP program more difficult for qualifying participants.
- Conaway Amendment (No.23): Creates a provision in the SNAP program that would reduce benefits to qualifying participants by 10 percent if Congress fails to pass a farm bill. Amendment No. 23 rejected by voice vote, and withdrawn from recorded vote by Rep. Conaway.
- Kingston, Westmoreland, Austin, and Scott Amendment (No. 24): Repeals the SNAP benefit boost enacted in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This benefit boost is set to expire in November.
- Huelskamp, Goodlatte, Neugebauer, Jordon, DeSantis, Stewart, and Chris Amendment(No. 101): Cuts SNAP funding by $31 billion and also eliminates programs such as SNAP nutrition education and job training, which help participants transition out of poverty. Although the SNAP program has existing work requirements, this amendment imposes additional requirements, making it more difficult for qualifying participants to access the safety-net program when they need it. Amendment 101 adopted in a vote of 175 yays and 250 nays.
- Southerland, Westmoreland, Kingston, Bentivolio, and Schweikert Amendment (No. 102): Creates a state option that allow states to change their SNAP work requirements to match stricter federal welfare work requirements and financially incentivizes states to reduce SNAP caseload by providing states funding based on how much they reduce caseload. Amendment 102 failed in a vote of 227 yays and 198 nays.
- Reed Amendment (No.103): Ex-offenders who have committed a set of specific violent crimes would be permanently banned from ever receiving SNAP. Amendment No. 103 adopted in a bloc-voice vote.
We will update this blog post as each amendment receives a vote over the next few days.
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