Aug 21, 2019

70 mayors warn Trump's planned food stamps cuts will harm economies

Breakfast is served at the Lazarus House Ministries morning soup kitchen on August 16

Lazarus House Ministries morning soup kitchen on Aug. 16 in Lawrence, Mass. 36% of residents there receive SNAP aid. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a bipartisan letter Wednesday signed by 70 mayors stating their "strong opposition" to Trump administration plans t0 cut 3.1 million people from a food stamps program.

Why it matters: In the letter to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Associate Administrator Jessica Shahin, the mayors warn that changes to the program would harm local and regional economies and have a devastating impact on the vulnerable Americans.

"I am opposed to any action by the White House to take away nutrition assistance from millions of our most vulnerable — including children, the disabled and seniors — and that is exactly what this proposal to limit SNAP has the potential to do."
Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler in a statement to Axios

The big picture: Residents in 43 states can automatically become eligible for food stamps via SNAP if they receive benefits from another federal program, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Reuters notes.

  • The proposed changes to SNAP would limit access to food stamps for households with savings and other assets, with the aim of ending automatic eligibility for those already receiving federal and state assistance, per the Washington Post.

What they're saying: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters last month that the proposal would "preserve the integrity of the program" and that "SNAP should be a temporary safety net."

  • Acting Deputy Undersecretary Brandon Lipps said the plan would result in annual budgetary savings of $2.5 billion.

Read the letter:

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