Farm Bill 2013: News and Updates

May 21, 2013

The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that guides and authorizes funding for most federal farm and food policies, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). For more, check out the Food Research & Action Center's FAQ and the Results.org fact sheet.

Status

Congress has until the end of September to pass a Farm Bill extension or reauthorization. Congressional commitees in the House and Senate have passed their versions of the bill.

Senate: The bill has hit the floor of the Senate (week of May 20, 2013). Votes are expected this month. So far, votes have centered on amendments to the bill, including several that would change the shape of the food stamp program.

House: A bill expected on house floor in June.

TAKE ACTION!

Results.org is urging people to use this time to build support for undoing these cuts by following up with agriculture aides for your representatives and senators, urging them to protect SNAP in the final Farm Bill.
 

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News Updates

May 23:  Colorlines.org: "Senate Accepts Deal to Kick Formerly Incarcerated Off Food Benefits." If this amendment ends up in the farm bill and passes, it would hit African Americans particularly hard, Colorlines reports.

Week of May 21: the Senate rejected farm bill amendments that would make deeper cuts to food stamps and turn the program into grants for states to administer. Huffington Post has a video and AP story.

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Why This Matters to Us

CBPP breakdown of SNAP recipientsResults.org offers the following talking points:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, aka food stamps) is the first line of defense against hunger in America. Currently, over 47 million people — almost half of them children — receive SNAP benefits; that’s nearly triple the monthly average in 2000 (17 million).

SNAP reduces hunger in children by 25 percent and poor health outcomes in children by 35 percent, according to data from Iowa State University.

In addition, SNAP is a key economic stimulus for local economies. Every dollar in SNAP benefits spent creates nearly two dollars in economic activity. Economist Mark Zandi has said that the fastest way to infuse money into the economy is by increasing SNAP benefits.

Despite SNAP’s efficiency and effectiveness, SNAP benefits are already set to be cut in November 2013, when the temporary benefit boost passed in 2009 ends.

For a family of three, the cut likely will be $240 to $300 per year, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates (see the graphic for details). This cuts comes at a time when, for millions of Americans, the Great Recession is far from over.

Get more information and ideas for action:


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Comments

Farm Bill Amendment is outrageous. You want to cut crop insurance industry, that will make the farmers suffer. You want to invent in a Fresh Fruit & Vegetable program, where are you planning on getting the fresh fruits and vegetables after you destroy the farms here in the USA? Oh wait, you can import from CHINA!

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