May 18, 2019

Statement on U.S. House Rejection of Farm Bill

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted against the Farm Bill, legislation that would have made it harder for Florida families with children, people with disabilities and older workers to put food on the table. The rejected version of the bill would have made harmful cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, instituted harsh sanctions around failure to comply with new work requirements and removed the current law’s flexibility around how states administer the program.

SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is the most critical anti-hunger program in the nation. In 2017, the program helped one in six Floridians put food on the table.

The bill would have put an undue fiscal burden on states as well by mandating the creation of large-scale, untested work programs.

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation must work together now to help craft bipartisan legislation that strengthens SNAP and preserves the flexibility that states are provided under the current law to modernize administration of the program.

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