Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Demonstrators protest cuts to food stamps in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

'Unconscionable': Trump USDA Proposes New Rule to Strip Food Stamps From Over 3 Million Americans

The proposal, said Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, would "take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance."

Jake Johnson

In a move critics denounced as the Trump administration's latest effort to bypass Congress to attack low-income families, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday proposed a new rule that would strip food stamps from more than three million Americans.

USDA chief Sonny Perdue, in a call with reporters Monday, said the rule change would end automatic food stamp eligibility for those receiving other forms of federal and state assistance. The 60-day comment period on the proposal is set to begin Wednesday.

"This proposal is yet another attempt by this administration to circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis."
—Sen. Debbie Stabenow

As the Washington Post reported: "Current rules give states latitude to raise SNAP income eligibility limits so that low-income families with housing and child care costs that consume a sizable share of their income, can continue to receive help affording adequate food."

"This option also allows states to adopt less restrictive asset tests," according to the Post, "so that families, seniors, and people with a disability can have modest savings or own their own home without losing SNAP benefits."

Tens of millions of people suffer from hunger and food insecurity each year in the United States, and the SNAP program is widely recognized by experts as an effective way to reduce hunger—particularly among children.

Policy experts, lawmakers, and commentators warned the Trump administration's proposed rule—described by one critic as "unconscionable"—would increase hunger among vulnerable Americans.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that the rule would "take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance."

"This proposal," added Stabenow, "is yet another attempt by this administration to circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis."

As Common Dreams reported in April, the Trump administration is also moving to add punitive work requirements to the SNAP program, a proposal that was met with a flood of angry comments from across the nation.

"This is a direct attack on the most vulnerable among us, and this policy violence cannot go unchallenged," Rev. William Barber, co-chair of the national Poor People's Campaign, said at the time.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

WHO Calls for Moratorium on Covid Booster Shots as Billions Go Without Single Vaccine Dose

"We cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world's most vulnerable people remain unprotected."

Jake Johnson ·


Calling New Eviction Ban 'Just a Start,' Omar Says Rent Should Be Canceled Until End of Pandemic

"We have the House, Senate, and White House—there are no excuses for our inability to act. We have the power to stop the next eviction crisis and must act now."

Jake Johnson ·


Conceding Defeat in Ohio Special Election, Nina Turner Says 'Our Justice Journey Continues'

"We are going to continue to travel all over this country to ensure that progressives are not left alone when evil lurks. Until justice rings for all, justice rings for none."

Jake Johnson ·


'I Think He Should Resign': Biden Joins Chorus of Demands for Cuomo to Step Down

Calls for the New York Democratic governor's ouster are growing after an investigation found that he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal law.

Jessica Corbett ·


Cori Bush, Progressive Lawmakers and Activists Hailed for New CDC Eviction Moratorium

"I think the message here today is clear," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "It's that everyday people can make a change. We can always demand better."

Brett Wilkins ·