U.S. House Agriculture Committee Approves Farm Bill

2018-04-20

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee held a mark-up of the 2018 Farm Bill on Wednesday, April 18. Among other provisions, Title 4 of the bill legislates nutrition programs such as SNAP and National School Lunch Commodities. The five-hour discussion on Wednesday centered around changes to SNAP, including new work requirements and elimination of Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility, which may impact school nutrition program direct certification in some states.

According to a Center on Budget Policy and Priorities report, the Congressional Budget Office has indicated that 265,000 students will be impacted by the elimination of Categorical Eligibility and resulting loss of access to SNAP. No longer directly certified through SNAP, parents of these students will be required to complete an application and reestablish access to free school meals.

The bill passed Committee by a vote of 26-20. Committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Conaway, stated that he plans to bring the bill to the House floor in May for a full vote. The farm bill covers five years of funding and policy changes and is due for reauthorization in 2019. SNA continues to monitor progress on the bill and urge House and Senate Agriculture Committee members to push for an expansion of USDA Foods to support the School Breakfast Program as part of the bill.

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