As of last week, both the House and the Senate have passed versions of their FY18 budget bills.
The House was the first to take action, passing its version of the budget which retained many of the proposed $160 billion in cuts to SNAP, through the full House in early October.
A few weeks later in mid-October, the full Senate passed its version of an FY 18 budget through the full Senate. While the Senate's proposed budget does not directly cut SNAP, it sets the groundwork for potential future cuts due to reduced revenue.
It appears that the House will be voting to take on the Senate's version of the budget this Thursday. This avoids a conference committee between the House and Senate to negotiate the differences in their budget bills and paves the way for legislators to use "reconciliation" as a procedural tool to pass a tax reform bill later this year.
While the Senate's version of the bill does not cut SNAP directly - and also makes a Farm Bill in 2018 an easier task - the addition of $1.5 trillion to the Federal deficit to fund tax cuts may make future spending cuts more likely on a host of programs, including important hunger fighting and health promoting programs like SNAP and Medicaid.
Both the House and the Senate votes were extremely close - 219 to 206 in the House and 51-49 in the Senate. This doubly reinforces the importance of your engagements with your Members of Congress.
Thank all of you who have been reaching out to your Members of Congress asking them to support a budget that fights hunger and improves health by protecting SNAP from deep cuts and harmful structural changes. Thank you so much for continuing to stand up and lending your voice in support of this important hunger-fighting program.
We will continue to follow this process closely and will keep you updated.