On June 21, the House passed H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly known as the “Farm Bill,” by a vote of 213-211. If enacted, the Farm Bill would increase food insecurity for millions of families through funding cuts, stricter work requirements, and bureaucratic hurdles within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill now heads to the Senate, which plans to take up its own bipartisan version that does not include similar work requirements.
The SNAP program already imposes work requirements and allows states to apply further conditions for assistance. The House Farm Bill would create an even stricter policy with additional bureaucratic hurdles aimed at further restricting the number of families that can receive food assistance. Under the bill, SNAP recipients would have to prove each month that they worked, participated in a work training program for at least 20 hours a week, or qualified for an exemption. This requirement would leave workers who lack sick leave, caregivers, and people with disabilities at risk of losing their SNAP assistance. Families already struggling to make ends meet would have even fewer resources to meet their other basic needs, including housing.