Aug 21, 2019

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

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:

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The coronavirus is making it even harder to care for seniors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Caring for older adults was already expensive, emotionally taxing and logistically difficult — and the coronavirus is only making it worse.

Why it matters: People older than 65 have the highest risk of dying from the virus, and outbreaks have been rampant in long-term care facilities. That is creating anxiety for seniors and their families.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 5,508,904 — Total deaths: 346,508 — Total recoveries — 2,234,510Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 1,662,768 — Total deaths: 98,223 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy