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.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Indignation as Michigan Judge Drops Flint Water Charges Against GOP Ex-Gov Snyder

"The people of Flint deserve justice—and it's unacceptable that the people responsible for Flint's water crisis aren't being held accountable," said Food & Water Watch in response to the development.

Brett Wilkins ·


70+ Lawmakers Tell Biden 'You Can and You Must' Provide Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

"As president, you and your administration have a number of tools at your disposal to make sure rail workers are guaranteed paid sick leave," wrote the lawmakers.

Julia Conley ·


COP15 Biodiversity Summit Highlights 'Deadly' US Attitude Toward the World

"While others play by the rules, the most powerful nation refuses," writes George Monbiot. "If this country were a person, we'd call it a psychopath. As it is not a person, we should call it what it is: a rogue state."

Jessica Corbett ·


Final House Covid Panel Report Exposes 'Reckless' Trump Pandemic Response

The publication accuses top Trump officials of "failed stewardship" and a "persistent pattern of political interference" that undermined the nation's response to a pandemic that has killed more than a million people in the United States.

Brett Wilkins ·


As NYT Staffers Strike, Sanders Calls for 'New Ways to Empower' Workers Battling Industry Giants

"We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires," said the Vermont progressive.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo