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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  • The house Passed September 19th, 2013
    Roll Call Vote 217 Yea / 210 Nay
      house Committees
      House Committee on Agriculture
      House Committee on Education and the Workforce
      House Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedSeptember 16th, 2013

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What is it?

This bill would reduce spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as the Food Stamps program), by reforming eligibility requirements within the food stamp program. Funding would be cut by about $39 billion over the period between 2014-2023.

The number of food stamp recipients grew 70% between 2008 and 2012, when the number of recipients reached an all-time high at 47.8 million people. In the aftermath of the recession, sluggish growth in employment and income has led to this increase. In 2012, around 20 million recipients were children, and the total cost of the program was $78 billion.

Impact

People who are currently eligible for food stamps, those who receive SNAP benefits, state nutrition assistance programs, federal agencies that administer SNAP.

Cost

The CBO estimated that this bill would reduce spending on SNAP by $39 billion between 2014-2023. SNAP spending as a whole would cost $764 billion over that period. A change in the benefit calculation for SNAP participants who are receiving payments for energy assistance from government programs would reduce SNAP benefits by $90 per month for 850,000 households each year.

More Information

In Depth: 

A reduction in the number of waivers for childless adults outlined in this bill would reduce the number of people who receive higher-than-average benefits from the program by about 1 million people, on average. An eligibility change would reduce the number of people who currently receive lower than average benefits by about 1.8 million people, on average. 

This bill contains a significant number of modifications to SNAP, a comprehensive list of which can be found on the bill’s Congressional description. A detailed breakdown of some of the bill’s reforms are as follows:


Title I of the bill deals with retailers participating in SNAP, individual eligibility for the program, and funding. It states that participating retail stores must pay the full cost of installing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems. Those stores would also be required to offer at least three staple food categories and adequate EBT service. Government and non-profit retailers that offer purchasing and delivery services for the elderly and disabled would be considered eligible retailers.

Further, Title I states that:

  • States are allowed to test SNAP applicants for the illicit use of controlled substances at the state’s expense, and disqualify applicants based on a positive test result.

  • College student eligibility for SNAP would be limited to students enrolled in career and technical programs that are to be completed in four years or less.

  • Federal funds would be prohibited from recruiting SNAP participants, and performance bonuses would be eliminated for administrators.

  • Funding for employment and training programs would be reduced.

  • Certain convicted felons would be disqualified from SNAP eligibility.

  • States would be required to expunge funds from a household’s EBT benefits that aren’t used within 60 days.


Title II extends the Commodity Distribution Program and limits eligibility to low-income persons aged 60 years or older. It allows the continued distribution of surplus commodities to special nutrition projects.


Title III includes miscellaneous provisions:

  • It authorizes spending on the Commodity Credit Corporation for the farmers’ market nutrition program through 2016.

    • 50% of those funds must be used for seniors. Low-income families who are at nutritional risk would be included as program recipients.

  • It extends a program that purchases fresh fruits and vegetables to be distributed to schools and service institutions.

    • Creates a five state pilot program to continue this practice with locally grown fruits and vegetables.

  • Requires a review of the economic and public health benefits of white potatoes on low-income families at nutritional risk.

  • Establishes a healthy food financing program that would focus on improving access to healthy foods in under served areas. By providing loans and grants to fresh food retailers, it would allow them to overcome barriers to entry and create quality jobs.

Media:

Sponsoring Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) Press Release

The Hill

MSNBC

AFL-CIO (Opposed)

Wall Street Journal (Context)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov)

AKA

Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013

Official Title

To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008; and for other purposes.

    This is not the correct approach to combat our spending problem. The problem is that more and more Americans NEED these benefits and yet the money pouring back to the economy post-recession is being sucked up by the top and not finding its way back into our households. Cutting off aid to the poor rather than helping families stop needing it is irresponsible and is just as unsustainable as 'throwing money at all our problems' is.
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    We need some sort of safety net for those who fall on hard times, even if people abuse the system its worth it to protect those who actually need it.
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    I agree that we need SNAPS to stay, there are a lot of Americans that truly need the help. But we should be working towards improving the state of country so our citizens do not even need programs like this. This helps people for now, but not in the long run. The money cut from this program should go towards programs that help SNAPS recipients receive proper education in order to move up in the work force.
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    The fact that we had such an increase of people applying for SNAP does not mean all of those people we going hungry. All it means is that more people are dependent on the government's hand outs and have stopped trying to increase income.
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    Low income Americans should never go without the resources they need to be fed
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    So many people depend on SNAP to eat every day. They won't magically find a way to eat if Congress cuts SNAP programs. They'll go hungry.
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    We should not be depriving the poor of the guarantee of food and adequate nutrition.
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    I've known of way too many single parents with kids who end up living in their car or hotels because they can't make enough money.
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    While I agree that assistance reform is needed, cutting funding to these areas will only have negative effects on people any way you look at it. Don't starve people to save money, our compassion and standard of living is what makes us different from underdeveloped nations and makes us great. Eliminating funding for programs people need to survive is in humane.
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    Food is elemental and we have a lot of it. Much of that food goes to waste and snap benefits help families when they need it most.
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    While yes SNAP should be reformed this immediate change would directly harm far too many people.
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    Has to be reformed and looked deeper into, to much corruption and abuse going on.
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    Having examined the amount of assistance given to single individuals or families/households, and the qualifications for that assistance, I believe it is a fair amount given based on the needs of the recipient.
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    NO AMERICAN WOMAN OR CHILD SHOULD GO WITHOUT THEIR NEEDS. THE ABUSE NEEDS TO STOPPED BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN DIRE NEED THIS IS A GOOD PROGRAM.
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    There are millions that are hungry, which is a sin in our great country. We should have in place markets for second quality produce that most of us don't want. We waste entirely too much food that somebody could benefit from. I do not favor programs that are easily abused. I do think resources should go toward healthy food not packaged junk foods.
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    Because if it were not for SNAP a lot more people would literally SNAP!! A HUNGRY MOB IS AN ANGRY MOB~Bob Marley
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    In my view not just congressional but the senate as well because they are the one's that aren't passing the bill's.....and Obama should not get paid either....he needs to understand that the people will not put up with his stupidity when it comes to immigration, it is taking away job's that Americans need and the American people will not stand for this illegal immigration law.....
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    There are other areas that deserve to be cut more than SNAP benefits...can anyone say congressional pay?
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    This program should be phased out.
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    We waste to much money over satisfying basic needs. Government support should be just that... Support. Not an early retirement plan.
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