Senate Passes Own Version of Farm Bill, Does Not Include Significant SNAP Modifications

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed its own version of the Farm Reauthorization Bill (S. 3042) on a bipartisan vote of 86-11. The Senate’s $867 billion Farm Bill does not include major modifications to nutrition title provisions that govern the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed). Despite the fact that several senators filed amendments that would have modified SNAP, the amendments were ultimately not offered during debate on the Senate floor and a clean measure was passed. CHEAC and CWDA this week submitted a letter to California’s U.S. Senators opposing the filed amendments that would have weakened SNAP and urging their support of SNAP improvements included in S. 3042.

Recall last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its own sweeping Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on a razor-thin margin of 213-211 that included an overhaul of nutrition programs that would shift SNAP and SNAP-Ed funding from state and local agencies to state land grant universities. H.R. 2 would also modify SNAP work requirements and eligibility provisions.

Given that the Senate and House versions of the Farm Bill differ significantly, members of Congress must meet in conference committee to reconcile differences and determine a final version of the measure. Congress faces a deadline of September 30 to finalize and pass a reauthorization measure before the current Farm Bill expires on this date.