WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2nd) announced resolution to reverse the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rule to End Food Security for Poor and Vulnerable Americans.
“Today, the USDA announced that it would finalize its rule to tighten restrictions on the eligibility of Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) for benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known as 'SNAP,'" stated Van Drew."
According to a release, under this rule, the administration estimates that 3.1 million people – nearly 9% of SNAP recipients – would lose their benefits.
This administrative action comes despite rejections by Congress to include such measures in the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as multiple letters (dated April 2, 2019 and Aug. 8, 2019) urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the administration to reverse its decision.
As a result Van Drew will offer a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to nullify this rule and prevent similar rulemaking from occurring in the future.
“In America no one should go hungry. It is a sad day when our nation, the wealthiest in the world is not willing to take care of its most vulnerable citizens. Earlier this year I spoke at the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Hearing to Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Food Banks about the importance of both food banks and SNAP programs, and how one is not enough without the other. Many people assume that since New Jersey is a wealthy state with a high per capita income that a lot of these issues of poverty and hunger don’t exist, and the fact is that they do. The 2nd Congressional district that I represent is 40% of the entire state of New Jersey and mostly composed of rural, seasonal, and shore communities, and 12% of our households receive SNAP. In many situations, jobs aren’t as easy to come by as some of the statistics show. I believe that at certain points in people’s lives they need assistance in order to move on to the next point in their life.
“In addition to the massive benefits that SNAP provides to children, it also gives critical benefits for Americans who face substantial obstacles to stable employment. Some of those obstacles include undiagnosed mental and physical health issues, lack of basic education or skills, irregular work schedules that do not guarantee a consistent number of hours each month, and jobs that do not pay a living wage. Instead of demonizing people and cutting this life-saving nutrition assistance for hungry individuals and families, the USDA should use its authority to research whether those affected by this rule are in fact disabled, elderly, veterans, or attempting to find work.”
New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson released the following statement today on the Trump Administration’s new SNAP rule:
“We are deeply disappointed to see the Trump Administration finalize a rule that will, when fully implemented, threaten food assistance benefits for as many as 12,000 New Jerseyans.
“New Jersey has been able to use the flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or SNAP program to help individuals without dependents who face challenging economic circumstances continue receive SNAP benefits beyond a three-month limit. To take away that flexibility at a time when the New Jersey economy is improving and we are helping people get on a better financial footing is simply wrong.
“This will set back the work we have done to help these New Jerseyans and will put more pressure on food banks and others across the state to try to fill in the gaps. It is simply bad policy.”