Text: H.R.1368 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/26/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1368


To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require that supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits be calculated with reference to the cost of the low-cost food plan as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 26, 2019

Ms. Adams (for herself, Mr. McGovern, Ms. Kaptur, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Khanna, Mr. McEachin, Mr. Welch, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Cummings, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Ms. Norton, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Ms. Moore, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Ruppersberger, Ms. Lofgren, Ms. Johnson of Texas, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Evans, Ms. Velázquez, Ms. DeGette, Mr. Brown of Maryland, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Aguilar, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Richmond, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Garamendi, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Ms. Barragán, Mr. Takano, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Gonzalez of Texas, Mr. Rush, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Eshoo, Ms. Omar, Mr. Serrano, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Peters, Ms. Speier, Ms. Pingree, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Meeks, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Mr. Tonko, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Veasey, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Heck, Mr. García of Illinois, Mr. Rouda, Ms. Clarke of New York, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Schiff, Ms. DelBene, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Pressley, Ms. Garcia of Texas, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Mr. Nadler, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. Haaland, Mr. Grijalva, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. Neguse, Mr. Ryan, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Castro of Texas, Mr. Sarbanes, Ms. Bass, Mr. Raskin, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Neal, Ms. Sánchez, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Keating, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. McNerney, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Cox of California, Ms. Brownley of California, and Mr. Crist) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require that supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits be calculated with reference to the cost of the low-cost food plan as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019”.

SEC. 2. Amendments.

(a) Calculation of program benefits.—The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 3 (7 U.S.C. 2012)—

(A) by striking subsection (u),

(B) by redesignating subsections (n) through (t) as subsections (o) through (u), respectively, and

(C) by inserting after subsection (m) the following:

“(n) ‘Low-cost food plan’ means the diet required to feed a family of four persons, consisting of a man and a woman nineteen through fifty, a child six through eight, and a child nine through eleven years of age, determined in accordance with the Secretary’s calculations. The cost of such diet shall be the basis for uniform allotments for all households regardless of their actual composition, except that the Secretary shall—

“(1) make household-size adjustments (based on the unrounded cost of such diet) taking into account economies of scale;

“(2) make cost adjustments in the low-cost food plan for Hawaii and the urban and rural parts of Alaska to reflect the cost of food in Hawaii and urban and rural Alaska;

“(3) make cost adjustments in the separate low-cost food plans for Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States, to reflect the cost of food in those States, but not to exceed the cost of food in the 50 States and the District of Columbia; and

“(4) on October 1, 2019, and each October 1 thereafter, adjust the cost of the diet to reflect the cost of the diet in the immediately preceding June, and round the result to the nearest lower dollar increment for each household size.”,

(2) in section 8(a) (7 U.S.C. 2017(a))—

(A) by striking “thrifty food plan” each place it appears, and inserting “low-cost food plan”, and

(B) by striking “8 percent” and inserting “10 percent”,

(3) in section 16(c)(1)(A)(ii) (7 U.S.C. 2025(c)(1)(A)(ii))—

(A) in subclause (I) by striking “for fiscal year 2014, at an amount not greater than $37” and inserting “for fiscal year 2019, at an amount not greater than $50”, and

(B) in subclause (II)—

(i) by striking “June 30, 2013” and inserting “June 30, 2019”, and

(ii) by striking “thrifty food plan” and inserting “low-cost food plan”, and

(4) in section 19(a)(2)(A) (7 U.S.C. 2028(a)(2)(A))—

(A) in clause (i) by striking “and” at the end,

(B) in clause (ii)—

(i) by striking “each fiscal year thereafter” and inserting “each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2019”, and

(ii) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon, and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(iii) for fiscal year 2020, $2,650,000,000; and

“(iv) subject to the availability of appropriations under section 18(a), for each fiscal year thereafter, the amount determined under clause (iii), as adjusted by the percentage by which the low-cost food plan has been adjusted under section 3(n)(4) between June 30, 2019, and June 30 of the immediately preceding fiscal year.”.

(b) Standard medical expense deduction.—Section 5(e)(5) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(5)) is amended—

(1) in subparagraph (A) by striking “an excess medical” and all that follows through the period at the end, and inserting “a standard medical deduction or to a medical expense deduction of actual costs for the allowable medical expenses incurred by the elderly or disabled member, exclusive of special diets.”, and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(D) The standard medical expense deduction shall be equal to $140 for fiscal year 2020, and for each subsequent fiscal year shall be equal to the applicable amount for the immediately preceding fiscal year as adjusted to reflect changes for the 12-month period ending the preceding June 30 in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Medical Care published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, except that for any such fiscal year the State agency may establish a greater standard medical expense deduction that satisfies cost neutrality standards established by the Secretary for such fiscal year.”.

(c) Elimination of cap of excess shelter expenses.—Section 5(e)(6) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)) is amended—

(1) by striking subparagraph (B), and

(2) by redesignating subparagraphs (C) and (D) as subparagraphs (B) and (C), respectively.

(d) Snap eligibility for full and part-Time students; students’ responsible for care of disabled members of households.—Section 6 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2015) is amended—

(1) by striking subsection (e); and

(2) in subsection (d)(2)(C) by striking “(except that any such person enrolled in an institution of higher education shall be ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program unless he or she meets the requirements of subsection (e) of this section)”.

(e) Conforming amendments.—

(1) FOOD AND NUTRITION ACT OF 2008.—The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) is amended—

(A) in section 10 (7 U.S.C. 2019) by striking “3(o)(4)” and inserting “3(p)(4)”,

(B) in section 11 (7 U.S.C. 2012)—

(i) in subsection (a)(2) by striking “3(s)(1)” and inserting “3(t)(1)”, and

(ii) in subsection (d)—

(I) by striking “3(s)(1)” each place it appears and inserting “3(t)(1)”, and

(II) by striking “3(s)(2)” each place it appears and inserting “3(t)(2)”,

(C) in section 19(a)(2)(A)(ii) (7 U.S.C. (a)(2)(A)(ii)) by striking “3(u)(4)” and inserting “3(n)(4)”, and

(D) in section 27(a)(2) (7 U.S.C. 2036(a)(2))—

(i) in subparagraph (C) by striking “3(u)(4)” and inserting “3(n)(4)”, and

(ii) in subparagraph (E) by striking “3(u)(4)” and inserting “3(n)(4)”.

(2) LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1981.—Section 2605(f)(2)(A) of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8624(f)(2)(A)) is amended—

(A) by striking “5(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I)” and inserting “5(e)(6)(B)(iv)(1)”, and

(B) by striking “(7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(C)(iv)(I))” and inserting “(7 U.S.C. 2014(e)(6)(B)(iv)(I))”.

(f) Technical corrections.—The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 5(a) (7 U.S.C. 2014(a)) by striking “3(n)(4)” each place it appears and inserting “3(m)(4)”,

(2) in section 8(f)(1)(A)(i) (7 U.S.C. 2017(f)(1)(A)(i)) by striking “3(n)(5)” and inserting “3(m)(5)”, and

(3) in section 17(b)(1)(B)(iv)(III)(aa) (7 U.S.C. 2016(b)(1)(B)(iv)(III)(aa)) by striking “3(n)” and inserting “3(m)”.

SEC. 3. Effective date; application of amendments.

(a) Effective date.—Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on October 1, 2019.

(b) Application of amendments.—The amendments made by subsections (b), (c), and (f)(2) shall not apply with respect to certification periods that begin before October 1, 2019.