The Biden administration approved a new spending bill.
It excludes the previous Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) pandemic increase. The reduction will also lower the purchasing power of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) recipients.
Like all other states, Iowa residents will see their SNAP benefit reduced. The drop is about $95. But Iowa officials want to go a step further with SNAP and WIC program restrictions. Iowa House Republicans suggested the bill.
Media houses like CBS News, Business Insider, and USA Today have reported this story.
What are the proposed changes to Iowa's SNAP benefit?
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley introduced the bill named House File 3.
The bill aims to limit payments for SNAP and WIC claimants. If passed, beneficiaries cannot spend the welfare money on:
- Fresh meat
- White grains, including white bread and white rice
- Sliced cheese
- Baked, refried, or chili beans
- Cooking oil
- Salt and pepper
- Canned vegetables and fruit
- Frozen prepared foods
Exceptions: recipients could buy pasta, 100% whole wheat bread, and canned meats like tuna. These options drastically lower the nutritional food eaten by beneficiaries.
There is also a less publicized restriction. It is a hike in the SNAP requirements to limit who qualifies for the benefit. People who would no longer qualify for SNAP: (source)
- Individuals with $2,750 in savings
- Disabled people or persons over 60 with $4,250 in savings
Luke Elzinga, chair of the Iowa Hunger Coalition, is against the changes. Elzinga said, "[New rules] also discourage people from applying for SNAP even when they are eligible. They really discourage households from saving for emergencies, because you can't really have emergency savings account past a certain value or you'd be kicked off the program."
SNAP helps 41 million Americans and 270,000 of the claimants live in Iowa.
Why propose such a drastic change?
Grassley said the state needs to free up funding for other programs. SNAP gets money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the state pays the program's administrative cost.
Critics of the bill say it would drastically affect low-income families.
SNAP's website describes the aims of the program. "SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency."
So, many opposers note one thing. Those proposed changes go against the initiative's mission.
What do you think?
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*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article got written using accredited media reports. Below are affiliate links. *Advice Disclaimer: The article and the information contained herein are not intended to be a source of advice.
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