Food assistance is at risk–again. Just months after Congress and the Administration debated and reauthorized SNAP through the Farm Bill, the Administration is now proposing to implement, through executive action, a second SNAP benefits cut it failed to secure through legislation.
This time, the Trump Administration is proposing to gut states’ options to eliminate SNAP asset tests and use a higher income test to serve more working households that have significant expenses for shelter and child care. The current policy option is known as “Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility” (or “Cat El”). https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/resource-files/BBCE2019.pdf. The USDA proposal would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.1 million individuals, take free school meals away from the children in those families, and punish people with even meager savings.
Cat El policies have been in place for more than two decades. Congress rejected efforts to gut Cat El, including during its consideration of 2005 budget reconciliation and the 2018 Farm Bill. This USDA rulemaking is an attempt to side step Congress and is outside USDA’s authority.
We need your help once again!
We need to generate lots of comments making clear that these cuts would harm struggling people. The 60-day comment period started on July 24 when the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register, and ends September 23.