On December 4th the Trump administration announced draconian changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will eliminate "food stamp" benefits for nearly 700,000 Americans. While the rules change won't fully go into effect until April of 2020, the timing of the announcement – just in time for the holidays – stings with Scrooge-like cruelty.
In announcing the changes to SNAP, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue pointed to the strength of the current economy and the need for more able-bodied workers in a tight job market; he also couldn't resist tossing in some choice straw-man nonsense about dependency not being a part of the American dream.
In truth, SNAP is a popular federal program with broad, bipartisan support. As Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) rightly notes, "there is overwhelming opposition in Congress and across the country" to this rules change. "369 members of the House – a historic number of Republicans and Democrats – voted against these cruel policies" just last year.
The Trump administration's latest assault on decency is a solution in search of a problem. SNAP is a means-tested program; recipients already undergo substantial criteria assessment before receiving benefits. Tell the USDA to immediately reverse course on SNAP and demand that food security not be needlessly jeopardized, this holiday season or the next.