The farm bill conference agreement that House and Senate negotiators unveiled yesterday represents a solid outcome after a difficult two-year congressional effort, as we explain in a new paper and a commentary. While it unfortunately doesn’t make progress in addressing hunger and poverty by investing new resources in SNAP (or by reinvesting the SNAP savings that it generates), it includes sound reforms that should strengthen SNAP over time. Most important, it rejects the harsh eligibility cuts in the House-passed version of the farm bill.
CBPP President Robert Greenstein explains in his commentary:
The proposed farm bill conference agreement…represents a relatively favorable outcome for SNAP and most of the millions of low-income Americans who rely on it, especially in light of what might have occurred or what may occur if Congress rejects this agreement and leaves it to the next Congress to write its own farm bill.
To be sure, the conference agreement does include $8.6 billion in SNAP cuts over the next decade. Yet it stands in sharp contrast to the nearly $40 billion in SNAP cuts in the House-passed bill of September, which contained an array of draconian provisions and would have thrown 3.8 million people off SNAP in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The conference agreement includes none of the draconian House provisions — and it removes virtually no low-income households from SNAP.
Click here to read the paper and here to read the commentary.