News & Press: Public Policy

House Votes Down Farm Bill With SNAP Work Requirements

Monday, May 21, 2018  
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Congressional efforts to impose stricter work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients has been rejected.

The House on Friday voted 198-213 to defeat the Farm Bill, which included the proposed work requirements that could have jeopardized benefits for an estimated one million low-income, able-bodied adults.

The proposal would have required most unemployed adults between the ages of 18 and 59 to enroll in 20 hours of workforce training to receive assistance. Exceptions were to be made for pregnant women, people with disabilities and parents with children under 12. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the changes could have resulted in a more than $17 billion reduction in benefits provided to low-income families over 10 years.

CBO also determined that it would take years for states to create work training programs that would then be able to accommodate only about two percent of individuals who would need to take part in them to maintain SNAP eligibility.

The loss of SNAP benefits impacts not only the individuals directly eligible for them, but also children, who rely on the program for regular and healthy meals. Of the estimated 42 million low-income Americans currently using the SNAP program, children and older adults make up the largest groups of beneficiaries.