Scott: Farm Bill includes language to stop ‘extreme’ SNAP benefit changes

(The Center Square) — A congressman from Georgia says proposed legislation some say cuts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding includes language to prevent “extreme” changes without input from lawmakers.

This week, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute said the $1.5 trillion Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, commonly called the Farm Bill, includes a $30 billion reduction in SNAP funding over the next decade. The group pointed to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finding that Georgia would see a nearly $1.1 billion reduction over a decade.

However, proponents of the measure intimated that calling the change a “cut” is inaccurate.

“The Farm Bill includes protective language that prevents extreme changes to SNAP benefits without Congressional input and continues the cost-neutral status that the TFP has maintained for over 40 years,” U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Georgia, said in a Thursday statement to The Center Square.

Updates to the Thrifty Food Plan, the formula determining SNAP benefits, have been cost-neutral, and the 2024 iteration of the Farm Bill maintains a cost-of-living adjustment.

Democrats like U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., have said the measure could worsen food insecurity. However, in a news release, U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro, R-New York, said the measure increases funding for food banks and allows families to buy more fruits and vegetables via food assistance programs.

Scott is on the House Agriculture Committee, which approved the measure to send it to the full House for consideration. Spokespeople for U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop, D-Georgia, who is also on the committee, and U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Georgia, the committee’s ranking member, did not respond to multiple requests this week for comment on the legislation.