Support America's farmers and low-income families: say NO to the 2018 farm bill

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What the farm bill does for Americans. 

The Agriculture Act, reauthorized once every 5 years, is massive piece of legislation that has significant control over the quality and accessibility of food in US. The bill houses government spending for several titles like crop subsidies, organic food production, conservation programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

There is a good chance you may know someone who is a recipient of SNAP, and depends on this assistance to feed their families. Over 40 million people in the US living below poverty rely on SNAP, 44% of whom are children

This critical program, which accounts for 80 percent of spending in the farm bill, is one of our biggest defenses we have as a nation against undernutrition and food insecurity. It helps millions of working Americans put food on the table, everyday. 

Why the 2018 farm bill must be reconsidered in congress.

1. The republican-backed House bill plans to slash an estimated $20 billion from SNAP. If passed, 1 million households with more than 2 million individuals would experience reduction in assistance, or be completely booted from the program all together, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

2. The new bill would create more barriers to accessing food by enforcing stricter, unreasonable work requirements for SNAP recipients such as:

  • Raising the age requirement from 49 to 59 for "able-bodied adults with out dependents" to work at least 20 hours per week. It's important to note that SNAP already has work requirements.
  • Filling out burdensome paperwork asking for proof of working at least 20 hours per week, each month. 
  • Recipients who don't work at least 20 hours a week will be required to attend job training class to meet the hourly workweek requirement. 
  • Individuals who fail to properly prove they are meeting these requirements described above will be cut off from SNAP benefits for a whole year. Those who repeatedly violate the requirements could face ineligibility for up to three years.

3. The new farm bill fails to provide a protection funding for hardworking farmers in a dire time when farm product prices are low, and when farm net income has decreased 50 percent since the enactment of the 2014 farm bill. 

4. New provisions to the bill will make it easier for ultra-wealthy famers to receive commodity subsidies by exempting "pass-through" businesses from means testing requirements. This means billionaire farm owners could be eligible for large payouts in the form of subsidies. 

The 2018 farm bill would undermine low-income individuals by creating more obstacles in order to receive benefits. This an underlying attempt to kick millions of people off SNAP, while allowing high-earning farmers to profit off federally funded subsidies at the expense of tax payers.

What you can do.

Demand lawmakers to work collaboratively in order pass agricultural legislation which ensures impoverished families and children have equal access to quality food.

The House and the Senate version of the bill both passed in late June. The current farm bill expires in September. Time is running out, and both versions of the bill still need to be reconciled later this summer by lawmakers.

Sign this petition to urge Congress to reject the House version of the farm bill which imposes unreasonable work requirements on impoverished Americans struggling with food insecurity. 

US Congress Candidate Susan Boser will fight to pass commonsense legislation that will benefit America's heartland of hard-working rural farmers, poverty-stricken families and underprivileged children. Susan, a public policy expert who has devoted 20 years to human services, will protect rural communities by supporting agricultural cooperatives so farmers can sell their produce and products. Show your support by signing this petition, it's time to stand up for our most vulnerable Americans. 

This petition was written and prepared by Chelsea Guerra. Photo op: Laurie Link, Missouri Agriculture. 

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