More than likely the most important legislation the Congress will pass this year or this session is the multi-year fam bill that is projected to cost $1.5t over the next 10 years. A significant component of farm bill leg is Title IV that addresses nutrition assistance, namely the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) that serves 42 million Americans, including one in every four children. SNAP benefits were expanded during the COVID pandemic. As of two months ago however expanded SNAP benefits expired. Presently Congressional Republicans are looking go cut SNAP funding by weaponizing the debt ceiling vote. (Listeners may recall I discussed SNAP policy with the CBPP in March 2020.)
During this 30-minute conversation Ms. Bergh begins by providing an overview of current state of hunger and food insecurity. She proceeds to discuss the recent “food cliff” resulting from sunsetting expanded COVID emergency SNAP benefits this past February, discusses House Republican’s April debt ceiling legislation that included cuts to SNAP programming and what SNAP reforms advocates are proposing. We conclude with comments regarding SNAP participation, the Biden administration’s hunger conference last summer and pledge to end hunger and diet related-diseases by 2030 and the current state of the farm bill’s legislative process.
Ms. Katie Bergh is a Senior Policy Analyst on the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPPs) Food Assistance team. Prior to joining CBPP, Ms. Bergh worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), where she managed her work as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies. Previously, Ms. Bergh spent six years as a staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry under Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), where she handled the committee's work on domestic and international food assistance programs for the 2018 farm bill. Ms. Bergh holds a BA in Biology from Kalamazoo College and an MPP from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As an example of the CBPP’s latest SNAP reporting, see this May 9th document: https://www.cbpp.org/blog/roundup-analyzing-house-republicans-harmful-debt-ceiling-and-cuts-bill.