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Is Trump Cutting Food Stamps

Budgets Child Nutrition Proposals Would Curtail Access To School Meals

Trump Administration Wants To Cut Back On Food Stamps For Able-Bodied Workers

The Presidents budget includes two proposals that would cut child nutrition by $1.7 billion over ten years and curtail access to free and reduced-price school meals. The proposals would make it harder both for school districts with high-poverty areas to offer free meals to all students and for families to continue receiving free or reduced-price meals for which they have been approved.

The Community Eligibility Provision, enacted in 2010, allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students. By eliminating the need for schools to collect, process, and verify school meal applications, it increases school meal participation, reduces administrative work, and eliminates unpaid meal fees. Even though all students receive meals at no charge, only a portion of the meals are considered free meals for purposes of reimbursement. The Presidents budget would impose stricter rules about how school districts can group schools to offer community eligibility across communities or district-wide. This change would make it much harder for districts that serve high concentrations of low-income students to offer community eligibility district-wide or to group schools to accommodate district priorities, such as offering comparable benefits across neighborhoods or grades.

Nearly 700000 Americans To Lose Food Stamps Under New Trump Policy

Move will limit states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment to receive benefits

Hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on the federal food stamp program will lose their benefits under a new Trump administration rule that will tighten work requirements for recipients.

The move by the administration is the latest in its attempt to scale back the social safety net for low-income Americans. It is the first of three proposed rules targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as Snap, to be finalized. The program feeds more than 36 million people.

The plan will limit states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment in order to receive benefits.

The agriculture department estimates the change would save roughly $5.5bn over five years and cut benefits for roughly 688,000 Snap recipients. Thats down from its original estimate that 750,000 people would lose benefits.

Under current rules, work-eligible able-bodied adults without dependants and between the ages of 18 and 49 can currently receive only three months of Snap benefits in a three-year period if they dont meet the 20-hour work requirement. But states with high unemployment rates or a demonstrable lack of sufficient jobs can waive those time limits.

The final rule will go into effect in April.

The agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, said the rule will help move people from welfare to work.

Hiltzik: Trump Proposes Denying Free School Meals To A Half

To save thousandths of a percent of the federal budget, Trump wants to throw half a million children off the school lunch program.

Judge Howell showed little patience for this position. Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential, she wrote.

Howell found that USDA waved away … commenters concerns and their supporting evidence in a few sentences of defective argument.

As weve written before, the campaign to cut SNAP benefits has a long, discreditable history. In 2018, the then-GOP-controlled House tried to cut the SNAP budget by $17 billion over 10 years by tightening work rules . Although Democrats were unanimously opposed, bizarrely the bill was killed by the Houses extreme right-wing caucus, which held it hostage to an immigration measure it favored.

Back in 2013, there was another attempt to cut food stamps. That effort to reduce the SNAP budget by $20 billion over 10 years deserves a place in the Capitol Hill Hall of Shame because it was heavily supported by numerous members of Congress who had slurped deeply from government crop supports and subsidies as farm owners.

In all, more than 36 million mostly low-income Americans currently receive SNAP benefits, averaging less than $1.36 per person per meal.

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Why Does This Data Matter

In 2018, 37.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which means fewer people received SNAP benefits last year than the previous year.

The number of Americans who rely on food stamps has slowly dropped from a peak of 47.6 million people in 2013, said Elaine Waxman, who studies food insecurity as a senior fellow with the Urban Institutes Income and Benefits Policy Center.

But Waxman said, despite a decade of improvement, it is too soon for the federal government to cut food stamp benefits.

Research suggests that food stamp benefits reduce food insecurity and help alleviate poverty, freeing up money within the household for other goods, Waxman said.

In the absence of significant change, if we lose SNAP benefits, we can expect increases in both food insecurity and poverty, she said.

As many as 500,000 children also could lose eligibility for free school lunch program, Waxman cautioned. Thats because states that automatically enrolled people to receive SNAP benefits, also enrolled children in the household to receive free school lunches.

The public comment period for this proposed rule ends on Sept. 23. So far, have been received on this proposed rule change.

Left: If the Trump administration’s new rule goes into effect, an estimated 3.6 million Americans would no longer receive food stamps.

Mmeasure Was First Of Three Intended To Restrict Federal Food Safety Net

What Trumps Proposed Food Stamps Cuts Mean for Families

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A federal judge on Sunday formally struck down a Trump administration attempt to end food stamp benefits for nearly 700,000 unemployed people, blocking as “arbitrary and capricious” the first of three such planned measures to restrict the federal food safety net.

In a 67-page opinion, Chief US District Judge Beryl Howell of the District of Columbia condemned the Agriculture Department for not justifying or even addressing the impact of the sweeping change on states, saying its shortcomings had been placed in stark relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, during which unemployment has quadrupled and rosters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have grown by more than 17 per cent with more than six million new enrolees.

The rule “at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Howell wrote, adding that the Agriculture Department “has been icily silent about how many would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country.”

The judge concluded that the department’s “utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.”

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Budget Overall Would Increase Income Disparities And Racial And Ethnic Inequality

In addition to these proposed cuts to food assistance, the budget calls for numerous other cuts that would take away health coverage and other assistance that helps low-income families meet basic needs, including:

  • $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act that would cause millions of people to lose health coverage
  • a $20 billion cut over ten years in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which supports families with children experiencing poverty
  • elimination of the Social Services Block Grant, which provides flexible funding to states for a variety of services for low-income individuals and families
  • cuts to basic assistance for some people with disabilities thats provided through Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and
  • large cuts to non-defense discretionary programs a wide range of programs, many of which provide basic assistance to low- and moderate- income individuals and families, such as housing assistance, education and child care for low-income children, and other health and human services programs.

At the same time, the budget would permanently extend the 2017 tax laws tax cuts for individuals, which confer large benefits on high-income taxpayers and heirs to multi-million-dollar estates. Extending the tax cuts set to expire at the end of 2025 would cost $1.4 trillion over the rest of the decade.

What Does The Data Say

Established in 1964, SNAP benefits form the nations largest federal nutrition safety net program and feeds more than 37 million Americans. Each month, a person enrolled in the program receives $127 on average, or $1.39 per meal, in SNAP benefits, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

On July 24, the Trump administration proposed changing one way states calculate who is eligible to receive SNAP benefits. This policy is called broad-based categorical eligibility, and it was designed to give states further discretion to determine who needs food stamps beyond federal requirements.

Under this proposed rule, people whose gross income is 130 percent above the federal poverty line or have more than $2,250 in assets, will no longer qualify to receive federal food benefits.

That means an estimated 3.6 million Americans would no longer receive food stamps under the new rule. Thats nearly one out of 10 households or 1.9 million homes where people currently receive SNAP benefits in 42 states and territories, according to Mathematicas analysis of the data.

Though states dole out federal food stamp benefits, state-level data wasnt included in the original federal regulation, said Sarah Lauffer, who served as the lead Mathematica researcher on the project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Mathematica analysis used the same fiscal year 2016 data that the federal government cited in its proposal, Lauffer said.

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Federal Judge Strikes Down Trump Rule To Cut Food Benefits Amid Pandemic

A U.S. federal judge has struck down aTrump administration rule that would have cut food stamp benefits to almost 700,000 unemployed Americans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, court documents showed.

The judge, in a court filing, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been icily silent about how many people would have been denied the benefits with the changes.

The pandemic has left millions of U.S. residents without jobs, sending thousands into lines at food banks.

In 2019, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, provided stamps giving free food to about 36 million Americans.

The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans, chief judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. said in the ruling.

The USDA announced the rule in December and President Donald Trump said at the time many Americans receiving food stamps do not need them given the strong economy and low unemployment.

A coalition of attorneys general from several states, the city of New York and the District of Columbia challenged the USDA rule in January.

In March, the judge had granted a preliminary injunction and a stay on part of the rule, which was scheduled to take effect on April 1, noting food needs during the pandemic.

USDA filed a notice in May appealing the order.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

Trump Administration Unveils More Cuts To Food Stamp Program

Moneywatch: States Sue Trump Over Plan To Cut Food Stamp Benefits
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By Lola Fadulu

    WASHINGTON The Agriculture Department moved again this week to cut spending on food stamps, this time proposing changes that would slice $4.5 billion from the program over five years, trimming monthly benefits by as much as $75 for one in five struggling families on nutrition assistance.

    The latest plan would cut benefits for 19 percent of households on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps, while increasing benefits for 16 percent. Almost 8,000 households would lose benefits entirely. Those cuts would be concentrated in cold northern states that would be most affected by a change in the way heating costs are calculated.

    The number of families losing benefits is a tiny percentage of the nearly 40 million people who receive benefits, and even $4.5 billion over five years is a trim for a program that cost $68 billion in 2018 alone.

    But the latest move is the third time the Trump administration has moved to cut food stamps. In December, the Agriculture Department said it sought to place more stringent work requirements on the program. In July, the administration proposed a rule that would strip more than three million people of their benefits. The public comment periods for both those proposals have ended, and final rules are expected soon.

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    Trump Administration To Introduce Plan Cutting Food Stamps For 750000 People

    The Trump administration is set to announce a plan that would cut food stamp benefits for approximately 750,000 people, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

    The plan, which is scheduled to be announced Wednesday, will make it more difficult for states to gain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries of food stamps work or are enrolled in a vocational training program, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

    The work or vocational training requirement applies to recipients who are able-bodied or those who are not caring for a child under six years old. Under the current guidelines, states can receive a waver for work requirements for those receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , or its former name, food stamps, if its unemployment rate is at least 20 percent above the national rate, according to Bloomberg.

    The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in October.

    The regulation was initially proposed in February, and the administration predicted that the rule would end benefits for 750,000 people in its first year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the move would save $1.1 billion in the first year and $7.9 billion over five years.

    A person familiar with the measure confirmed to Bloomberg that the finalized regulation will have a similar impact. States seeking waivers under the rule would have to meet the stricter standards by April 1.

    The Hill has reached out to the USDA for comment.

    Keep Tabs On The Latest California Policy And Politics News

    The Trump administration finalized a rule Wednesday that will cut off food stamps to roughly 688,000 American adults by requiring states to enforce work requirements.

    The U.S. Agriculture Department said the move will save about $5.5 billion over five years. The rule takes effect in April 2020.

    This is about restoring the original intent of food stamps, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on a call to reporters. Moving more able-bodied Americans to self-sufficiency.

    About 198,000 Californians stand to lose their assistance in buying food, according to a 2018 estimates by the Urban Institute.

    Under current law, able-bodied adults without dependents working fewer than 80 hours a month or in certain training or volunteering activities qualify for three months of food stamps every three years. States and counties can waive those three-month limits if, for example, unemployment rates are high.

    Currently, all but six California countiesAlameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Mateohave received waivers through August 31, 2020. Fresno has waived the limits for the past two decades.

    The new rule will make it significantly harder for counties to drop the requirement. A city or county will need an unemployment rate of 6% or more, as well as approval from the governor, to qualify for a year-long exemption. Fresno had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in October.

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