Graves-sponsored Food Stamp Program reform legislation gains approval in U.S House of Representatives
WASHINGTON -- Substantial reforms to the Food Stamp Program that Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) introduced last year through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) advanced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week as provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill.
With more than 100 co-sponsors, support for the SNAP Reform Act amounted to a groundswell of members who advocated alongside Graves to ensure the legislation’s core reform principles to strengthen work requirements for SNAP recipients were represented in this year’s Farm Bill.
“Passage of this bill is a win for our farmers and food producers and their ability to continue getting food to the table, and these critical reforms are a win for taxpayers,” Graves said. “Moving away from SNAP as a lifestyle and back towards its intended, temporary hand-up by requiring a more proactive approach to work is going to help more people get back on their feet more quickly while getting spending on the program under control.
“It’s just wrong that hardworking Americans are having to continue spending a trillion dollars a year through countless poverty programs without much to show for it: we have more people in poverty across the country today than when many of those same programs first started,” he said. “We have further to go on strengthening these reforms but today is a critical first step.”
The Farm Bill provides certainty for farmers, crop insurers and food manufacturers, authorizing various agriculture and nutrition program for five years.
“No one on either side of the SNAP trap is honestly happy with the current system,” Graves said. “Many able-bodied people who are on the program end up frustrated and stuck on its built-in cycle of poverty with no exit ramps. And taxpayers are frustrated about being on the hook for program costs that have basically tripled since the year 2000. We can do more for people; this bill does – by helping connect the unemployed with job opportunities or job skills to reintegrate them into the workforce.”