2018 Farm Bill Priorities

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Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are negotiating the 2018 Farm Bill, a massive piece of legislation thatamong other thingsprovides structure and funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the cornerstone of our nation’s nutrition safety net. House and Senate conferees are now hashing out a compromise bill that must pass both chambers—without amendments—before being sent to the President’s desk. 

 

Farm Bill State of Play

After months of anticipatory community hearings, advocacy, public debate and closed-door meetings, the Farm Bill missed its reauthorization deadline of September 30. On September 5, 2018, the 56-member Farm Bill Conference Committee held its first and likely only public meeting, led by Congressional agriculture principles Senators Roberts and Stabenow and Representatives Conaway and Peterson. All 56 members publicly expressed their desires for a speedy passage of the Farm Bill. However, large and important divisions affecting SNAP and millions of food insecure Americans—among other things—still remain, and must be reconciled by the Conference Committee before there can be a final vote on the Farm Bill. 

MAZON remains deeply concerned that the House’s version of the Farm Bill represents a fundamental and cruel shift in the reach and impact of SNAP, which would harm millions of Americans who are struggling to feed themselves and their families. It was first defeated in the House and then, a month later, narrowly passed in a 213-211 vote in June.

MAZON supports the Senate’s Farm Billa bipartisan bill that leaves the nutrition title relatively unimpactedthat passed the Senate in an 86-11 vote this summer. We continue to urge Congress to follow the bipartisan lead of the Senate and maintain SNAP eligibility and benefit levels. Conferees must reject the ideological agenda put forth by the House, which would negatively impact millions of Americans including single mothersseniorsveterans and military familiesNative Americansworking families, and more. 

We are heartened that Senators Roberts and Stabenow are joined with Congressman Peterson in strong opposition to changes to eligibility, work requirements and waivers for SNAP recipients outlined in the House version. However, President TrumpVice President Pence and Speaker Ryan are pushing for additional barriers to accessing SNAP.

Now, the Conference Committee must work to release a compromise Farm Bill. This will be followed by a Congressional Budget Office score and then a floor vote in both the House and the Senate, yet to be scheduled. 

Check out MAZON's Vice President of Public Policy, Josh Protas, as he shares his reflections following the Conference Committee meeting.

Take Action

We need you to join our nationwide effort to protect and strengthen SNAP in the 2018 Farm Bill—before it’s too late.

Now is a great time to schedule a lobby visit or drop by your legislator's district office. Check out our Farm Bill Advocacy Toolkit to learn more.

MAZON invites Jewish clergy from across the nation to join our sign-on letter calling on lawmakers to protect SNAP. Click here to see the signatories.

Anyone can join MAZON in advocating to protect and strengthen critical nutrition assistance programs. Click here to send an email to your Member of Congress today.

MAZON's Farm Bill Priorities

We call on legislators to pass a Farm Bill that protects against hunger by strengthening SNAP and other federal nutrition assistance programs—not one that adds to the problem. We will continue to oppose any policies that hurt single mothers, children, military families, older Americans, rural communities and working people. 

Read MAZON's full 2018 Farm Bill Priorities here.

Downloadable Resources

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Quick Facts About Hunger (pdf)
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Infographic - Hunger Stats (pdf)
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Infographic - SNAP (pdf)