Sen. Marshall on SNAP: Nobody Should Go Hungry, But Program Needs Accountability
(Washington, D.C., February 17, 2023) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. questioned witnesses yesterday during the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry’s hearing on the nutrition programs funded by the Farm Bill. Senator Marshall used his time to point out the disparity between the national 20% inflation on food and the roughly 50% increase to the SNAP program.
Senator Marshall began his remarks by emphasizing that while he wants every person in need to be fed, the increases to SNAP are outpacing inflation, asking in part,
“… I don’t want kids going hungry. Nutrition is so important… Food inflation since January 2021 is up 20%, but the SNAP benefits have gone up 50%… Why are SNAP benefits outpacing inflation? And where was the Congressional authority to increase spending beyond inflation?…”
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks and witness questions.
Senator Marshall then pivoted to SNAP work requirements, saying in part,
“…Some of the states are not following… the working requirements to get SNAP. Eighteen states are currently using waivers despite their unemployment being below six percent. Ten percent of SNAP recipients are able-bodied adults without dependents. So why isn’t the USDA enforcing the law?… Why are we letting these states get away with this waiver when they don’t qualify for it?…”
He concluded by saying,
“I don’t want anyone to go hungry, but when we have 7 million able-bodied men between the ages of 25 and 45 that aren’t working potentially qualifying for SNAP benefits, it just doesn’t seem fair. There are many other people at the other end of the spectrum that truly need the help when there are so many open jobs in this nation. I think that it is time to get rid of the waivers.”
Background on the Farm Bill:
The original Farm Bill – The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) was a federal law passed in 1933 as part of U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. The law offered farmers subsidies in exchange for limiting their production of certain crops. The subsidies were meant to limit overproduction so that crop prices could increase. This was so farmers wouldn’t go out of business and then ultimately not produce enough food for the U.S. Today, along with crop prices, the Farm Bill authorizes federal programs related to conservation, trade, crop insurance, and nutrition.
On February 1, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held their first hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill, discussing the trade and horticulture titles. Senator Marshall used his time during this hearing gathering witness testimony on market access for American agriculture products. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks and witness questions.
The second hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill focused on commodity programs, crop insurance, and credit titles. Senator Marshall used his time stress the importance of the farm safety net programs for not only production agriculture but also its importance in keeping food affordable for Americans. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks and witness questions.