House approves harmful Farm Bill
The U.S. House voted 213-211 yesterday, to approve a harmful bill that would take away food assistance from 2 million Americans, including children, seniors, and veterans. Last month the House voted on a motion to reconsider the Farm Bill, and it returned to the House floor just yesterday. The Children’s Campaign and other statewide advocacy organizations drafted letters to our Colorado delegation in strong opposition to the proposed House version of the Farm Bill.
The Federal Farm Bill reauthorizes both agriculture and nutrition programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Historically, the Farm Bill has been a bipartisan piece of legislation. Unfortunately, this year that is not the case. The House version of the bill would impose harsh work requirements, make it harder for states to apply for waivers, restrict categorical eligibility, and require families to provide their utility bills to SNAP administrators.
SNAP is crucial to combatting food insecurity in Colorado. Food insecurity is already too common among Colorado’s kids, with one in six children living in households that face food insecurity at some point during the year. In 2017, SNAP benefits helped 459,000 Coloradans pay for groceries, with more than 72 percent of these recipients being families with children. SNAP is Colorado’s most effective anti-hunger tool, providing families and communities across the state with resources that improve economic stability, health, and education outcomes.
While we are very disappointed in the outcome of the vote, there is still work to be done in the reauthorization process. The Senate version of the Farm Bill, which has received strong bipartisan support, will likely be considered next week. Check our KidsFlash blog next week for updates on the Senate version. In the meantime we encourage advocates to contact members of the Colorado delegation who voted no on the House version of the Farm Bill to thank them for their leadership.