Rebecca Vallas Profile picture
Apr 12, 2018 20 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
🚨 🚨 Just months after giving $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, House Republicans just unveiled a radical Farm Bill that would dismantle the nation’s main source of nutrition assistance for struggling workers and families.

Here’s how.

The bill is a thinly disguised ploy to take food away from struggling workers and families in the name of “helping people work.” NEWS FLASH: Making someone hungrier won’t help them find work any faster. 2/x
Jobless workers are already subject to a harsh 3-month time limit on SNAP in most parts of the country unless they are working 20 hours a week. The bill would make these time limits even harsher in a whole slew of ways. 3/x
For starters, the bill would extend SNAP’s time limits to older Americans age 50 to 60—a group that faces some of the greatest barriers to work. This is a recipe for massively increasing hunger and malnutrition among seniors. 4/x
It would also extend SNAP’s harsh time limits to parents with children over age 6—as though caregiving obligations disappear once a kid hits school age. Parents & kids both will go hungry since whole families lose SNAP when a parent gets sanctioned for not meeting work rules. 5/x
House Republicans claim no one will lose SNAP if they’re willing to work or participate in job training. But the so-called job training “guarantee” in the bill is actually a woefully underfunded mandate for states—paid for by taking food off the tables of struggling families. 6/x
Particularly nasty: A worker can face a full YEAR-LONG LOCKOUT the first time she fails to meet the newly harshened time limits—and a staggering THREE-YEAR LOCKOUT for the second “violation” (since House Republicans felt the need to use criminalizing language). 7/x
House Republicans say they're raising SNAP’s outdated asset limits—and they are, to $7K for an individual/$12K for a family. But a closer read reveals they’re simultaneously ending states’ flexibility to set asset limits above the federal floor—which now becomes a ceiling. 8/x
This would set back years of progress in 40+ states that have raised or eliminated asset limits in SNAP to enable families to save for the future and get ahead. 9/x
The bill is chock full of new red tape & paperwork requirements, including taking away a wonky-sounding provision called “categorical eligibility” which has enabled states to reduce costly bureaucracy, paperwork, and churn. This from the party who claims to <3 "streamlining."10/x
There’s also lots of just plain mean-spirited stuff. Like a new policy limiting families to 2 replacement EBT cards per year. Families will literally be unable to access their food assistance for the rest of the year if they lose or damage their card more than twice. 11/x
There’s lots more in there, and it gets pretty wonky, so stay tuned for more in the hours and days ahead. But in the meantime, I’ll end on the following note.... 12/x
THIS BILL IS NOT ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE WORK. If House Republicans were serious about investing in job training, they wouldn’t be taking food out of the mouths of struggling workers to pay for it—after giving $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest people in this country. 13/x
What this bill is really about is erecting as many barriers as possible to people accessing food assistance when they need it. As my friend @IndivarD put it earlier this week, it should probably be called the Increasing Paperwork, Bureaucracy, and Red Tape Act. 14/x
Scores of workers and families will end up losing needed food assistance because they'll get caught up in red tape -- including eligible workers who can't navigate all the new paperwork requirements. 15/x
If the House GOP were serious about helping people work, they would address barriers to work like unpredictable, fluctuating schedules and lack of affordable, high-quality childcare. And they would make sure all workers have adequate nutrition so they can thrive on the job. 16/x
So what next?

As soon as next week, the House will mark up this ugly bill. From there, Republican sources suggest its author @ConawayTX11 wants to bring it to the floor for a vote as soon as early May. 17/x
That means for the next few weeks, we need to light up the phones in the House and tell them #HandsOff SNAP.

This number takes you to a switchboard that will connect you with your member of Congress 👇

Remember it's an election year -- and don't be afraid to remind your member of Congress of that when you call. Tell them you'll remember in November. (And yes Dems need to hear from you too, not just Republicans!) 19/x
And if you or a loved one has been helped by SNAP, consider sharing your story at -- we at @amprog want to work with you to help policymakers understand how devastating cutting SNAP would be. /end for now

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More from @rebeccavallas

Sep 12, 2018
Later this morning, @uscensusbureau will release its annual report on poverty for 2017.

We expect a slight downtick in the U.S. poverty rate—which is without question good news.

But if Trump tries to take credit, he deserves to be laughed out of the room.

(Here’s why.)
@uscensusbureau Any good news for struggling workers is thanks to Trump’s FAILURE to impose much of his policy agenda (AKA a how-to guide for massively increasing poverty & hardship):

- dismantling food assistance
- tripling the poorest families’ rents
- stripping jobless workers of Medicaid
@uscensusbureau In fact, analysis by my colleagues @rwest817 & @kfgrobbins found that if just *three* of Trump’s draconian cuts to programs that help families make ends meet had been in place in 2015, 2.3 MILLION more Americans would have been poor.…
Read 7 tweets
Sep 5, 2018
Literally right as House & Senate began conference on the #FarmBill this morning, @USDA released a report finding 15 MILLION American households—about 1 in 6—struggled to put food on the table at some point last year.…
Yet House Republicans, led by @ConawayTX11, are STILL pushing for massive cuts to nutrition assistance that would take food away from 2 million Americans.
These are the members of Congress who are deciding whether to maintain food assistance through SNAP—or to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids & families to pay for millionaire & corporate tax cuts👇👇👇 #handsoffSNAP #FarmBill
Read 4 tweets
Aug 4, 2018
Wow. Internal documents show Trump’s State Department knowingly lied, ignored warnings from top economic advisers & manipulated data in an attempt to discredit the recent UN report on poverty in America, per @ForeignPolicy.…
The same internal documents also indicate the UN’s report on poverty in America did indeed play a role in motivating the US’s withdrawal from the Human Rights Council earlier this summer.
The same documents show that the State Dept. chose to rely on analysis from the conservative Heritage Foundation OVER THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU—the agency whose job it is to produce and analyze the federal government’s official poverty data—in its effort to whitewash poverty.
Read 7 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
Hi friends!

Today, as we mark the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (#ADA28), let’s do one better.

Let’s stop relegating people with disabilities to a single day in the calendar.

1. One in five Americans are people with disabilities. NEWSFLASH: This makes pretty much every issue a disability issue—from health care to the economy to the environment, to criminal justice, and more.
2. But for too long the notion of “disability policy” has lived in a silo—artificially & counterproductively separate from the fight to end poverty & tackle inequality, to curb climate change, to achieve criminal justice reform, and even the fight for universal health care.
Read 13 tweets
Jul 16, 2018
Move over, climate change.

Trump’s White House just issued a sweeping denial of poverty in America.

1. In a report released late last week, Trump’s WH declared the War on Poverty “largely over and a success.” The report is literally page after page of gaslighting the very real hardship faced by tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford food, housing, healthcare & more.
2. The WH report brazenly denies that homelessness is a meaningful problem in the U.S.—erasing the plight of the over *half a million* Americans without shelter on any given night (which includes 58,000 families with children).
Read 22 tweets
Jun 28, 2018
Feeling all the emotions watching PA @GovernorTomWolf sign the #CleanSlateAct into law just now. Proud to have worked w/my mentor @SDietrich9 to develop the “clean slate” automatic sealing model (now being picked up by other states & Congress!) & @erincohan to get it done in PA.
My head is swirling with thoughts of all of my @CLSphila clients who will be freed from the life sentences to poverty they‘re currently serving once the #CleanSlateAct takes effect. Watching my friend Ronald speak at the signing about what it means to him brought me to tears. :)
Huge thanks to @GovernorTomWolf @RepDelozier @SenTonyWilliams @RepHarris @SenScottWagner for your leadership in making Pennsylvania the first state to adopt clean slate legislation—excited to see Michigan, South Carolina & Colorado already following in PA’s footsteps.
Read 5 tweets

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