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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

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.