The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) today released the following statement from Robert Greenstein, president, on the farm bill released by the House-Senate Conference Committee:
The nutrition provisions of the farm bill that the Conference Committee released last night ensure that millions of struggling families and individuals will continue to be able to count on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help put food on the table.
SNAP, a key part of the farm bill, has long been our nation’s most powerful and effective anti-hunger program. The new farm bill conference agreement reauthorizes SNAP and provides for modest improvements to program integrity and administration. The agreement would also encourage and prioritize approaches to job training and other employment-related activities that are proven to be successful by the findings from employment and training pilot projects that the 2014 farm bill established. The conference agreement rejects the House farm bill’s cuts and other harmful changes to SNAP that would have caused more than 1 million households with more than 2 million people to lose their benefits altogether or face reductions in them.
The conference agreement’s SNAP provisions are not entirely without flaws. The agreement includes a provision that would end bonuses to states that demonstrate significant improvements in program operations, and it doesn’t include changes that would strengthen access for those who can face difficulties participating, such as seniors and people with disabilities. It also doesn’t address the problem of some SNAP households running low on or out of food at the end of each month. But the conference report represents a solid bipartisan compromise that maintains and modestly strengthens SNAP, a program that helps 1 in 8 Americans afford food.
We applaud the congressional leaders who fought successfully to protect SNAP and safeguard the millions of Americans who rely upon it to afford a basic diet.