A House-Senate Conference Agriculture Committee was meeting last week to negotiate differences between the two Agriculture reauthorization bills. Agriculture bills today focus mainly on nutrition programs as well as farm support programs. The House bill approved their farm bill with SNAP/food stamp restrictions by a vote of 213-211, HR 2. Unlike the Senate bill, the House vote was very partisan.

Estimates are that the House bill will cut SNAP by $19 billion. CWLA opposed the bill that was opposed by a range of children’s groups. Among the reason for opposition by children’s groups: restrictions on categorical eligibility meaning a costly and delayed process of asset testing for SNAP which means many families will lose eligibility because of process; increased restrictions on SNAP which results in some poor and low-income children losing access to school meals; more restrictive work requirements that change existing SNAP work requirements harming childless adults which in turn could harm vulnerable youth; indirectly hitting up to 13 million school-aged children on SNAP because it expands work requirements to adults with school-aged children; and along with youth aging out of foster care, unaccompanied, homeless youth.

CWLA has joined over a hundred national groups weighing in with conferees in a joint letter that said in part,

“In the interests of our nation’s babies, children and youth we strongly urge you to refrain from including any harmful SNAP provisions from H.R. 2 in the final conference agreement and instead urge you to support the Senate bill (S. 3042).”