Congress Strips Additional Work Requirements for SNAP before Passing Farm Bill

Congress passed an $867 billion farm bill, after a proposal that would have made cuts and placed stronger work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) benefits program was rejected. The House approved the bill by a vote of 369-47 after the Senate had earlier passed it by a vote of 87-13. Additional work requirements on nutrition assistance proved to be a major sticking point in preventing the bill from moving forward earlier in the year, as Democrats were united in their strong opposition to the proposal. The more stringent work requirements would have left workers who lacked sick leave, caregivers, and people with disabilities at risk of losing their SNAP assistance. Families already struggling to make ends meet would have had even fewer resources to meet their other basic needs, including housing. The USDA estimates that “approximately 42 million low-income individuals received SNAP benefits” in 2017.