(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and more than 100 House Democrats in urging United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to withdraw proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would impact more than one million program recipients. The proposed rule would restrict states’ ability to provide SNAP benefits to “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs) living in high-unemployment areas with an insufficient number of jobs. This flexibility has helped states deal with local economic downturns, respond to disasters, and support residents who are doing their best in areas with few suitable jobs.
“The proposed rule would introduce political interference into state-level administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program, is our nation’s foremost and most effective anti-hunger program,” wrote the Members. “The misconception that stricter work requirements are the answer to poverty and unemployment rests on the false belief that disadvantaged people will only work if the government forces them to. In reality, nearly seventy-five percent of SNAP recipients are working within the year that they claim benefits.”
“The proposed rule is a solution in search of a problem that does not exist,” continued the Members. “SNAP already has stringent work requirements. Time and again, SNAP has been shown to successfully reduce poverty and alleviate hunger. Therefore, we again urge you to withdraw this proposed rule, and to ensure that this vital nutrition assistance remains accessible for all who need it.”
A copy of the signed letter is available here.