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Volunteers at the Food Resource Center on April 10 in Livingston, Montana. Photo: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

The Trump administration has decided to pause efforts to increase work requirements for some Americans receiving food stamps, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: Nearly 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment in recent weeks. Meanwhile, demand is surging for food banks across the U.S., as those who rely on food stamps to buy essentials are largely unable to stock up on food and medication amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Washington Post reports.

Catch up quick: The Agriculture Department, which faced a lawsuit from 14 states, New York City and Washington, D.C. over its plan to limit SNAP access for non-disabled adults without children, previously planned to appeal a judge's ruling that stopped the new requirements.

What they're saying: “People need food and that’s what USDA does,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told the Times in a statement this week.

  • The department plans to “comply with the legislation which really pauses that during this public health emergency," Purdue told the Times, indicating that the agency does not currently plan to appeal the judge's ruling.
  • “While we, in a normal situation, were moving in a way to enforce what the common thinking was regarding food supply, we are going to be as flexible as we can,” Perdue told the Times.

Background: The proposed rule, which gives non-disabled adults without children access to food stamps for three months within a three-year period before they have to work, would cut benefits for 688,000–850,000 unemployed people, the Washington Post reported in earlier this year.

Go deeper: Coalition of states sues Trump administration over food stamp rule

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A pricetag of $500-$555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. presses Gulf countries to help resolve Sudan coup crisis

Jake Sullivan briefs the press. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Biden administration has asked its partners in the Gulf and elsewhere to press the Sudanese generals who carried out a coup on Monday to release captives including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and to reinstate the civilian government, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has limited influence over coup leader Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and other military leaders, many of whom have close ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.