The proposal, published in 2019, would have tightened the rules governing who is eligible for food stamps. This would have reduced so-called broad categorical eligibility, allowing Americans with slightly higher incomes and more savings to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the official name for food stamps. Republicans have long argued that this expanded eligibility option is a “loophole” that allows those with higher incomes and higher assets to get public aid.
Children would have been particularly threatened by the proposed rule change, as their families would have lost benefits and may have lost access to school meals, said Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center, a group of left. Hunger in children can affect school performance, behavior and mental health.
The move comes months after the Biden administration ended another Trump-era rule that could have deprived nearly 700,000 people of food stamps. This measure, announced at the end of 2019, would have forced more food stamp recipients to work in order to receive benefits by limiting the ability of states to renounce existing work mandates.
A U.S. district court judge blocked its implementation in March 2020 before overturning it in October. The Trump administration’s Justice Department initially appealed the decision, but after President Joe Biden took office, the agency asked the appeals court to dismiss the appeal, which she did.
A separate US Department of Agriculture report released this week showed that restoring work demands for some food stamp recipients after the Great Recession did not increase their jobs or annual incomes. Valid adults without dependents are generally limited to three months of food stamps in any 36-month period, unless they work or participate in certain activities – although that mandate was lifted during the coronavirus pandemic. .
The Biden administration has lobbied for expanded access and generosity of food stamps, saying the safety net program is essential to helping struggling Americans weather the pandemic. Hunger had increased at the start of the epidemic, although it has declined since then.
The president’s $ 1.9 trillion relief package, which he promulgated in March, extended food stamp benefits by 15% until September. And the administration announced in April that 25 million Americans would see their benefits increase as part of a first federal coronavirus aid provision.