Statement: Senate's Bipartisan Farm Bill Protects Lifeline for Millions
On June 28, 2018, the Senate voted on and passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 in an 86-to-11 vote. This bill avoids the House Bill’s many harmful changes that would result in households with children receiving reduced SNAP benefits, if not losing them entirely. It also fully rejects the Administration’s harmful and expensive proposal to fundamentally change the nature of the program by shifting a portion of a family’s benefits to a system of “Harvest Boxes.”
The following statement comes from Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children:
“We applaud the 86 senators who voted to pass the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 on Thursday evening. By approving this bill, these Senators came together in a bipartisan fashion to protect access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a critically important support that helps low-income families keep food on the table.
SNAP is an important lifeline for millions of Americans who struggle to make ends meet, especially for the 19 million children who rely on the program to access the food they need to grow, learn, and develop. Fortunately, the Senate farm bill is a clear repudiation of efforts in the House of Representatives to undermine access to food assistance for hundreds of thousands of families with children.
We hope that as lawmakers from the House and Senate go to conference, they will work together to produce legislation that mirrors the Senate bill. It is imperative that we remain vigilant during these proceedings—no changes to the bill should take away this vital lifeline for America's families instead, any modifications should strengthen and protect SNAP’s ability to fight hunger and poverty amongst America’s children."
For more analysis comparing the Senate bill and the House bill, see our blog post.
The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.
The Campaign for Children presses for policy changes to improve the well-being and protect the rights of the next generation of America’s leaders. Our advocacy is focused in the areas of child health, education, early childhood, family economics, child welfare, immigration, and child safety, in addition to tax and budget policies that lift children out of poverty. In all our advocacy, we seek to increase the federal investment in programs that support and protect our nation’s most precious resource, our children.