Real Cuts with Real Consequences: An Update on the Farm Bill and Proposed Cuts to SNAP
October 10, 2012
The Farm Bill, which generally needs to be reauthorized every five years, guides and authorizes funding for most federal farm and food policies, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Senate-passed version of this year's Farm Bill cuts about $4.5 billion from SNAP over ten years, mainly by limiting the ability of states to operate “Heat and Eat” policies, triggering sizable reductions in monthly SNAP benefits for many households. Meanwhile, the House Agriculture Committee's version includes a staggering $16 billion in SNAP cuts over ten years, by also eliminating the longstanding categorical eligibility option that allows states to coordinate SNAP gross income and asset rules for participants enrolled in other programs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing categorical eligibility would eliminate food assistance to 1.8 million low-income people, primarily affecting low-wage working families with children and low-income elderly individuals.
This webinar explored the status of the Farm Bill, the prospects in particular for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the implications for low-income families and low-wage workers.
- Jim Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center
- Joann Lo, Executive Director, Food Chain Workers Alliance