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.
Food stamp enrollment is forecast for 37.1 million people this fiscal year, the lowest figure since the early days of the Great Recession. The antihunger program could cost $69.2 billion this fiscal year, according to Senate appropriators, down 6 percent from fiscal 2019, which ended on Sept. 30, and far below the nearly $80 billion cost when SNAP participation peaked early this decade.
With Congress mired in partisan gridlock and the White House showing little interest, the nation's colleges and universities are scrambling to address the growing crisis of hungry, homeless students, as Bridget Huber reports in FERN's latest story.(No paywall)
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 proposal to tighten eligibility rules for food stamps “will push struggling families and children further into poverty, and we strongly urge USDA to rescind it immediately,” said the 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday.
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.
The Trump administration announced a rule on Monday that would allow federal officials to deny green cards and visa extensions to legal immigrants who have used certain public assistance programs, including food assistance.