WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that cut funding to SNAP and place tighter eligibility requirements for those who need nutritional assistance.
Oregon Congressman Greg Walden, who voted in favor of the cuts, says the program is growing too fast and needs to be changed. In Oregon, about 1 in 5 people participated in the program last month.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to come by for some Oregonians and more than 800,000 people in the state turn to the SNAP for help.
Statistics show nearly forty percent of these participants are children, while the fastest growing category are seniors. In a narrow partisan vote, the house passed a bill that would cut funding for the program by about 5 percent over the next 10 years.
Additionally, it would require adults up to 60-years-old without minor children to find a job or to enroll in a work-training program in order to receive snap benefits. Congressman Walden says the program is abused by some users.
“This is really an effort to try and get back to making sure the people who really need the help are getting it and that we’re beefing up our food bank operations as well to fill the gaps where they may exist,” Walden.
Congressman Walden says additional focus needs to be on creating higher paying jobs so fewer people have to depend on SNAP. Now that the bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, it will now move to the Senate.