Statement

STATEMENT: Share Our Strength’s Lisa Davis Responds to Debt Limit Deal and its Impact on SNAP

“We shouldn’t be playing politics with programs that help Americans meet their basic needs,” says Davis.

Contact: Meredith Jorss, mjorss@strength.org

WASHINGTON, DC — Over the weekend, President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling through the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which includes changes for some individuals who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The following is a statement from Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign.

“While we all recognize the catastrophic impact of a default, we are deeply disappointed that this deal includes cuts that further harm people experiencing hunger and poverty.

“As a whole, the punitive and ineffective SNAP changes included in this bill will save the U.S. very little money. They will also do nothing to remove barriers to make employment more attainable or available for those they impact. Nor are they based on evidence or experience. Instead, they are born from and rely on pervasive myths and misperceptions about SNAP and the people who benefit from the program and stand only to restrict food assistance for some Americans.

“Despite strong evidence that existing work requirements have no measurable impact on employment and only serve to restrict access to essential nutrition benefits, this agreement expands existing work reporting rules for so-called able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and puts older adults ages 50-54 at risk of losing food assistance.

“This has the potential to impact nearly one million people as it’s phased in over the next two years.

“But what’s even more concerning about this legislation is that it codifies a shift in the purpose of SNAP to be a program that prioritizes penalties and time limits, not improving nutrition outcomes.

“While we’re pleased to see some improvements to SNAP policy, such as new exemptions to ABAWD work requirements for veterans, youths ages 18-24 who are aging out of foster care and individuals experiencing homelessness, burdensome reporting requirements and bureaucratic red tape leave little confidence that this will outweigh the harmful expansion of these requirements for others in this category.  

“We shouldn’t be playing politics with programs that help Americans meet their basic needs. Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign remain committed to protecting and strengthening SNAP and look to the Farm Bill as the White House and Congress’s next best chance to follow facts and evidence as they look for solutions to the challenges families face today.” 

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