Oct 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Judge blocks Trump administration plan to cut food stamps to unemployed Americans

Food stamps recipients shopping
Food stamps recipients doing a big once-a-month shopping trip on the day their monthly SNAP account is re-funded. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Sunday called Trump administration plans to cut food stamp benefits for almost 700,000 jobless Americans "arbitrary and capricious" as she blocked the move, per the Washington Post.

Details: The rule at issue "radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving states scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans," said Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, of D.C., CNN notes.

  • The Agriculture Department had been "icily silent" on how many people would have been denied Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits had the changes been in effect, she added.

The big picture: A coalition including 19 states, Washington, D,.C., and New York City sued the Agriculture Department over the move to increase work requirements for food stamp recipients — the first of three planned efforts to limit the federal food safety net, applying to adults without disabilities or children or dependents.

  • The Agriculture Department did not immediately return Axios' request for comment

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