NACS Praises Congress for Passing 'Sensible' Farm Bill

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NACS Praises Congress for Passing 'Sensible' Farm Bill

SNAP program

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, applauded Congress for passing H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, known as the Farm Bill, on Dec. 12.

The legislation permanently bans processing fees on all Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transactions and reiterates the current ban on interchange fees from these transactions.

The bill passed in the House of Representatives by a 369-47 vote, setting it up to become law. President Trump is expected to sign it.

"Convenience stores are critical partners in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), providing essential access to food for SNAP families who may not live near a larger retailer or who shop during non-traditional hours," said Anna Ready, NACS director of government relations.

"NACS commends Congress for passing sensible legislation that will place a permanent ban on all processing fees and emphasizes the ban on interchange fees on SNAP transactions. We are pleased that Congress heeded these concerns and recognized that these fees have a negative impact on SNAP customers," she added.

The Farm Bill reauthorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, whose benefits are accepted at more than 119,000 convenience stores. During the process of drafting and passing the bill, NACS advocated for the critical role convenience stores play in providing access to food for SNAP beneficiaries, it said.

The main provision of the final compromise bill is language that permanently bans processing fees on EBT transactions and reiterates the ban on interchange fees. EBT allows a SNAP recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received and is used in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.