The Inclusive Economy
Take Action! House of Representatives to Vote on SNAP Cuts, Asset Tests
By Katherine Lucas McKay on 07/09/2012 @ 10:15 AM
On July 5, the House Agriculture Committee unveiled its draft Farm Bill legislation with some very bad news for assets advocates: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is targeted for a $16 billion cut. Most of the savings will come from eliminating Broad Based Categorical Eligibility, which allows states to set their own or waive the assets test. Unfortunately, that provision has support not only from Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) but also from Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN).
On July 11, the Agriculture Committee will consider amendments to the bill and vote to advance it to the full House of Representatives. Once the bill clears the Committee, its next stop is the House floor.
Advocates should contact their Representatives now to prevent these cuts. More than 40 states use Categorical Eligibility to waive the SNAP asset test for all applicants, allowing millions of low-income families to build the savings they need to successfully lift themselves out of poverty. If the House Agriculture Committee's proposal becomes law:
- Every state that currently uses Categorical Eligibility will have to reinstate its SNAP asset test.
- States will incur a significant administrative burden because they will have to verify the assets of all SNAP applicants.
- Some two million individuals will lose their SNAP benefits entirely.
- The decade of progress that the assets field has made to enable low-income benefits recipients to save will be undone.
Your support can make a difference! You can learn more and send a message to your Representative, through CFED’s Advocacy Center.