Legislative/Administrative Food and Nutrition Roundup and Advocacy Actions
As action heats up in Congress and within the Administration, anti-hunger advocates should take note of recent legislative updates that are critically important to our work, as well as harmful administrative proposals that require action. See the roundup below for more information.
Budget Caps Deal Congress must agree on a budget caps deal to avoid automatic cuts (also known as “sequestration”) to discretionary programs slated to take effect in FY 2020 pursuant to the 2011 Budget Control Act. On May 21, Congressional leaders and senior White House officials met to begin discussions of a potential deal.
Disaster Aid Package After months of stalled negotiations on a critical disaster relief bill, the Senate reached a deal on a disaster aid package with the President and then passed the measure on May 23, sending it to the House. The House planned to pass the bill by unanimous consent on May 24, but it was rejected by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), delaying the passage until after the Memorial Day recess. The package (H.R. 2157) would provide relief to areas impacted by recent natural disasters, including an additional $600 million for Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program (Puerto Rico’s block grant version of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP).
Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) Congress has an important opportunity in 2019 to improve the health of millions of our nation’s children by passing a strong reauthorization that protects and strengthens the child nutrition programs. Now that both chambers have held hearings, CNR is heating up in Congress. Stay updated on FRAC’s CNR page, where you can also find resources to help you plan child nutrition site visits for your Members of Congress.
SNAP Bills Two bills have been introduced this Congress that would strengthen SNAP. H.R. 1368, introduced by Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), would increase benefits for all SNAP participants. H.R. 2809, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), would lift SNAP’s arbitrary three-month time limit and ensure that all people have access to nutrition assistance and stay healthy while seeking full-time work. Urge your Representative to cosponsor the bills if they have not already done so. Visit FRAC’s SNAP Legislative Action Center page for more information.
Administrative Proposals — Act Now There have been a series of assaults on low-income families’ access to critical nutrition, healthcare, housing, and other programs. This is an important time for anti-hunger advocates to weigh in on how these proposals would harm low-income people across the U.S.
HUD proposed rule On May 10, the Trump administration published a proposed rule that would prohibit certain mixed-immigration status families from living in public and other subsidized housing. This rule would force certain mixed-immigration status families to break up in order to receive housing assistance, forgo the assistance altogether, or face termination from these programs. Go to https://www.keep-families-together.org/ for resources and a comment platform to help you submit a comment by the July 9 deadline.
Other Potential Administrative Rules FRAC is monitoring the federal register for other new rules that could potentially be released soon. On May 3, it was reported by Reuters that the Department of Justice has drafted — but not published — a proposed rule related to deportation on public charge grounds. In the event the rule is published, there will be time to submit comments opposing the rule, and FRAC will be developing model comments for advocates to weigh in on how the proposed rule will contradict the purposes of nutrition statutes and fuel food insecurity and hunger. It is important for now not to heighten the fears that immigrant families are facing, especially as a proposed rule on deportation and public charge has not been published in the Federal Register and the scope of the potential rule is unclear. Additionally, we are monitoring for release of other harmful rules related to nutrition program eligibility.