Winning The Battle But Losing the War: Congressman Southerland’s Amendment Added But Farm Bill Dies

Jun 20, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott expressed support for adding restrictions to the food assistance program known as SNAP.  SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; it’s the modern version of the federal food stamps program.

The proposal crafted by Congressman Steve Southerland of Florida’s 2nd District requires individuals to show they’re looking for work – kind of like the requirements for unemployment support. 

It’s a move David Wilkins, Secretary of the Department of Children and Families supports.  He says the changes are similar to the ones President Clinton put in place in 1996. 

“Skeptics were saying that, ‘Oh, we’re going to create a whole generation of individuals who are not covered by the safety net, and that literally just did not happen.  Matter of fact, just the opposite: you saw a significant increase of individuals in the work force, and you saw the welfare rolls drop dramatically, and so I suspect the same will happen here,” Wilkins says.

The new requirements were added as an amendment to the House Farm Bill, but the bill as a whole failed Thursday.  Democrats withheld support, in part, because of $20 billion in cuts to the SNAP program over the next decade.