Rural Issue

Lawmakers want SNAP left alone

The Ranking Member of the House Ag Subcommittee on Nutrition says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) needs to be kept in the next farm bill.

“Don’t even think about separating the nutrition title from the next farm bill, that would be a huge mistake and if it’s done I guarantee you there will be no farm bill.”

Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts testified at the subcommittee hearing on the next Farm Bill Tuesday, saying there is no reason to undermine SNAP through structural changes, block grants or cuts. McGovern argued for continued SNAP support of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).  “ABAWDs, under current law, are told that if they don’t have a job or are not in a job training program within a three month period of time, they’re through off of SNAP for three years. I quite strongly disagree with that approach.”

Stacy Dean with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a D.C.-based non-partisan policy institute, testified that while 83 percent of eligible participants are in SNAP, less than 42 percent of eligible seniors are enrolled in the program and urged lawmakers to find low and no-cost ideas to better respond to the needs of seniors.

Last year, the SNAP program cost more than $70 billion dollars with more than 40 million participants enrolled.

AUDIO: House Ag Subcommittee Hearing

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