A Trump administration regulation that would eliminate food stamps for 688,000 people is being challenged in U.S. district court by 14 states and the District of Columbia. Their lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Washington, asks for the rule to be overturned as unlawful and for an injunction to keep it from taking effect on April 1.
Before leaving Washington for the holidays, more than a dozen House Democrats stood in front of the USDA headquarters on the Mall to register their opposition to Trump administration regulations that would eliminate food stamps for 3.7 million people. Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, one of the foremost defenders of SNAP, raised the possibility of a congressional lawsuit against the cuts.
Nearly a year after President Trump announced “immediate action on welfare reform,” his administration said on Wednesday that it would more stringently apply a 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults, a step that would disqualify 688,000 recipients from the SNAP program.
Two weeks ago, the USDA said that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Now a study by the Urban Institute says an additional 1.05 million children would be affected indirectly because they attend schools in low-income areas that serve meals for free to all students.
The Trump administration said on Wednesday that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Brandon Lipps, deputy agriculture undersecretary, said the impact would be minimal because most of the children would qualify for a free or reduced-price meal if their parents filed the necessary paperwork.
The Trump administration should withdraw its proposal for tougher eligibility rules for SNAP because of the harmful effects it would have on vulnerable families, said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Thursday. An estimated 1.9 million U.S. households would lose benefits, with four heartland states on the list of nine states facing the largest proportional losses, the group said.
Some 11.1 percent of U.S. households are food insecure, meaning they did not have enough food at times during 2018 due to a lack of money or other resources, said the USDA on Wednesday. It was the lowest food insecurity rate since 2007, just before the Great Recession drove food stamp enrollment and costs to record highs.
Although a half-million children would lose access to free meals at school under a Trump administration proposal to restrict eligibility for food stamps, the USDA has not published that fact, said the chairman of the House Education Committee on Monday.
The Trump administration would oust 1 in every 12 SNAP recipients, a total of 3.1 million people, under a plan released today to restrict access to food stamps through so-called categorical eligibility. “Some states are taking advantage of a loophole” to load SNAP rolls, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.