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Federal judge halts Trump Administration directive to slash food stamps for hundreds of thousands during pandemic


This news story was published on March 14, 2020.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal judge has blocked a Trump Administration rule set for next month that would have kicked hundreds of thousands of needy, hungry Americans off of the food stamp welfare plan.

According to court documents at the United States District Court For The District Of Columbia, a new federal rule poised to go into effect in a few weeks, in April 2020, would dramatically alter the long-standing operations of the SNAP (food stamps) program, placing more stringent requirements on states’ award of SNAP benefits with concomitant, virtually immediate effects on the lives, by the federal government’s estimate, of over one million individuals currently receiving SNAP benefits. Of those million, nearly 700,000 would lose their benefits. 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.

Nineteen states, the District of Columbia, the City of New York, and three private plaintiffs have moved to enjoin preliminarily and to stay this new federal rule, issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), that would limit state-implemented waivers of the work requirements on which receipt of food assistance from SNAP may be conditioned.

The low-income Americans targeted by USDA’s Final Rule depend on monthly SNAP benefits to avoid hunger. These SNAP participants may wield little political or economic power, but, nonetheless, USDA’s proposed changes to take away nutrition benefits from almost 700,000 people prompted “more than 100,000 comments,” the “majority” of which the agency concedes were opposed to the proposed changes.

Notwithstanding these critical comments, USDA proceeded in the challenged Final Rule to adopt changes that, in some respects, were more draconian than those initially proposed. Although the hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals who stand to lose their benefits had little direct voice in that rulemaking process, the process exists to protect them and ensure that the agency cannot terminate their benefits arbitrarily. Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), agency rules, like USDA’s, are unlawful unless the agency has considered the relevant evidence, has weighed the consequences of its actions, and has rationally justified its choices. USDA says it did all that here, but USDA is not the arbiter of the Final Rule’s legality. The courts are, and this Court has determined that aspects of the Final Rule are likely unlawful because they are arbitrary and capricious.

USDA will be enjoined from implementing those aspects of the Final Rule nationwide pending final judicial review.

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16 Responses to Federal judge halts Trump Administration directive to slash food stamps for hundreds of thousands during pandemic

  1. Avatar

    mint Reply Report comment

    March 16, 2020 at 8:20 am

    There is zero evidence of this virus reaching “pandemic”, status in the U.S., people who do not use critical thinking and believe anything they are told are easy to deceive, RFB, https://youtu.be/yRM51B9PRZo, https://youtu.be/1aoBdUG81SU

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 16, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Like the President?

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 17, 2020 at 8:05 am

        Like when he cancelled flights from china and was scoffed by the dems

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 16, 2020 at 12:58 am

    biggest problem is, cant pass the drug test most employers have now,, plain and simple

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 16, 2020 at 12:57 am

    Anonymous

    you must be one of them lazy don’t want to work M-F’s that doesn’t want to loose their free food!!!!!

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 15, 2020 at 1:48 am

    driveby any business in town and what do you see?? NOW HIRING signs. get their ass out and get a job and buy their own food and feed their family like I haave done for almost 60 yrs. there is cases where it is needed but the un-need far out weighs them. problem today is that there is so many programs for the I-Dont-Want-To-Work people that they don’t. overheard a cpl of guys talking and one said, if you add up what I get free it far outweighs what I could buy if I worked. THATS THE PROBLEM.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 15, 2020 at 6:29 am

      You sound really uneducated, you also need to work on your grammar and spelling. Hard to take anyone serious under your low thinking position.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 15, 2020 at 8:56 am

        You always come up with that snobby bullshit when you don’t have a honest argument.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 15, 2020 at 6:31 pm

        It is really hard for those of us that have worked for what we have, to take the opinion of a stuff shirt liberal easily. We didn’t have things handed to us, we didn’t abuse government programs that were supposedly designed to help people get back on their feet. Unlike you, we would like the programs used properly, not abused by lazy assholes.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 15, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Exactly right. We all got jobs when times were tough. MF’rs don’t want to work for shit now. Just want things handed to them

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 14, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    People are always fed in Iowa. One of life’s lessons.

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 14, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    There was a time that parents took care of their own kids and didn’t need the govt to babysit for them. People back then had the pride to take care of their own families.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 14, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    More media bullshit. Hundreds of thousands of hungry freeloaders is more like it.

    • Avatar

      mint Reply Report comment

      March 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

      I disagree the government is the “biggest freeloaders”. my view

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm

        I would agree that politicians are pretty much free loaders. Then you have the liberals, who keep trying to make more “dependent” class people, by adding incentives to be on government programs, in order to secure the votes of those people.