Farm Bill jeopardizes SNAP

Yesterday, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed its harmful version of the Farm Bill, which governs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the nation's most effective anti-hunger program, helping 1 in 9 Iowans—over 70 percent of whom are in families with children—put food on their table. It also provides a critical boost to Iowa’s economy by supporting local farmers, food producers and nearly 3,000 retailers across the state. 

The partisan bill passed yesterday would take away or reduce SNAP benefits from many struggling Iowans, including parents raising kids, people with disabilities and working people.

The bill cuts SNAP benefits by more than $17 billion and diverts much of that money to a risky new scheme of ineffective work programs and unforgiving penalties that would take food assistance away from those who don’t meet sweeping, expanded work requirements. States would have to create massive new reporting and paperwork systems that will be expensive and hard to navigate for SNAP administrators and participants alike. This woefully underfunded proposal will likely fail to help people find jobs but is guaranteed to take food assistance from struggling families.

The Farm Bill should not break the long history of bipartisan commitment to ensure struggling families across the country have enough to eat. Strengthening SNAP, not cutting it, is the right way forward.

First candidate forum
Nate Boulton

On Wednesday, the Children's Policy Coalition kicked off its series of meetings with Iowa gubernatorial candidates. Coalition members met with Sen. Nate Boulton to discuss issues facing families and children in Iowa, including child care, children's mental health and child welfare. The coalition is a group of almost 30 Iowa organizations committed to raising awareness around children’s issues in state and federal elections. It aims to be voice for Iowa’s children, educating voters, lawmakers and candidates for state office about the urgent issues facing our kids and families. Video from the forum will be available soon at

Pictured (left to right): Denise Rathman, National Association of Social Workers-Iowa Chapter; Britney Samuelson, Iowa Afterschool Alliance; E.J. Wallace, Save the Children Action Network; Lora Patton, Child Care Resource and Referral; Ashley Otte, Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children; Lana Ross, Iowa Community Action Association; Anne Discher, Child and Family Policy Center; Sen. Nate Boulton; Chaney Yeast, Blank Children's Hospital; Mary Nelle Trefz, Child and Family Policy Center; Charles Bruner; Jill Applegate, Every Child Matters in Iowa. 

Legislative status report 

We’re still in hurry-up-and-wait mode at the Capitol. We finally saw budget targets and the introduction of a few budget bills this week. However, the education and health and human services budget bills—bills that fund most services for children and families—are still being worked on behind closed doors. Negotiations on tax bills also continue behind the scenes.

For more on the differences in the Senate, House and Governor's tax proposals and on one proposed element we hope makes the final agreement, check out our blog.  


Find your legislator

Not sure who represents you? With 50 senators and 100 representatives, it can be hard to keep tabs. Visit our Legislator Lookup tool to find out who represents you in the state house and senate, biographical information about each one and a link to their legislative websites, which list contact information and committee membership. All you need to do is enter your home address and zip code. 

Bill tracker

Want to go deeper? Curious about the status of key bills? The Center maintains a bill tracker to outline the specific legislation we are following this this session. 

505 5th Ave., Ste. 404
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 280-9027 /

Follow Us

Our presence at the State Capitol during session is supported by individual Iowans who care about children and families—and support our work. Join us!

Manage Subscription