A solid majority of the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that SNAP sales data at the store level are confidential and outside of the reach of public-records laws. The Argus Leader newspaper fought for access to the information for eight years on grounds that taxpayers deserved to know how and where the largest U.S. anti-hunger program spends more than $65 billion a year.
Rob Undersander has been dining out on political outrage for more than a year with his story of how he purposely abused the food stamp system. On Thursday, House Republicans brought the wealthy Minnesotan to Congress to support their arguments for SNAP reform.
The Obama administration’s increase in food stamp benefits during the Great Recession “had a positive average impact on county-level employment” in rural areas, says a USDA report.
In a case testing the limits of public-records laws, a trade group for grocers asked the Supreme Court on Monday to bar the release of store-by-store sales data for the $65 billion-a-year food stamp program. A South Dakota newspaper has fought since 2011 for the data, arguing taxpayers deserve to know how and where the government is spending their money.
The USDA launched a test of online grocery shopping for food stamp recipients in New York State on Thursday, with plans to expand the pilot to nine states across the nation.
The Department of Agriculture issued a proposed rule Friday that would ease the standards for how many and what types of products food retailers must stock in order to accept SNAP benefits at their stores. An Obama-era rule had expanded the amount of healthy foods that retailers had to stock in order to participate in the program.
The administration is motivated by conservative ideology, not facts, with its proposal to toughen the 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults, said the chair of a House Agriculture subcommittee on Wednesday, vowing “to do everything I can to stop this rule.”
The Trump administration’s proposal for stricter enforcement of the 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults would most often hit people living alone in deep poverty, said an analysis by Mathematica Policy Research. More than 1 million people would be affected by the regulation, the report said.
The White House proposed a $19 billion cut in food stamps for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, achieving the 25 percent reduction in SNAP mainly by putting forward, once again, "America's Harvest Box" of canned and nonperishable food. The administration also proposed on Monday to apply SNAP work requirements more broadly and to include older Americans in them. Both ideas were rejected last year by lawmakers.