GOP Farm Bill "Falls Short"

Jobs and Economy
Wanted to be sure you saw this Politico article on what Republicans are trying to do to nutrition assistance programs in this year’s Farm Bill – and why it won’t work. House Agriculture Committee Republicans’ partisan farm bill would take away nutrition assistance from millions of Americans at risk of going hungry in an effort to force recipients into untested programs with no track record of success and neither the resources nor the management capacity to succeed on the scale envisioned by the proposal.  Key Points:
“House Republicans have proposed a massive expansion of an obscure job training program as a way to get millions of people off of food stamps — notching a welfare reform win as part of the farm bill.”

There’s just one problem: There’s little evidence the training program actually works, let alone that it can be scaled up quickly to enroll hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of new participants.”

“But standing up training capacity for as many as 3 million people so quickly would be roughly equivalent to building almost half the existing U.S. community college system from scratch, said Kermit Kaleba, director of federal policy at the National Skills Coalition.”

“…SNAP training programs, which are mostly voluntary, haven’t been rigorously evaluated since 1994, according to USDA. Back then, researchers concluded they had no significant impact on participants’ wages, hours or job retention.”

“Anti-hunger advocates also worry about how stricter work requirements would pan out in rural areas. What if your state offers you a training slot 50 or 100 miles away? Would a low-income person be dropped from SNAP if they didn’t make it to the training site?”

“…With so many outstanding questions, some advocates see the House GOP plan as a high-risk gamble that risks cutting off aid that helps low-income people buy groceries each month.”