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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

Go deeper: Coronavirus pandemic prompts record food stamp spending

Go deeper

Dec 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden to pick Vilsack for agriculture secretary, Fudge for HUD

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Rep. Marcia Fudge. Photos: Tom Williams/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as his Agriculture secretary and Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as his Housing and Urban Development secretary, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: The selection of Vilsack is another example of Biden turning to a trusted friend to serve in a key role.

Senate Republicans shrug off debt default deadline

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before House members Wednesday. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans are feeling far more relaxed about the impending Dec. 15 federal debt-default deadline this time around, with many suggesting the real drop-dead date isn't until January.

Why it matters: Their attitude toward the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is distinctively different from the hair-on-fire rhetoric before the initial Oct. 18 date. But a Congress discounting the advice of a Treasury secretary is risky financial practice — and has the potential to affect markets itself.

GOP fights itself on shutting down government over vaccine mandates

Reporters question Senate Minority Whip John Thune before the Republican Party's weekly lunch on Tuesday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are scrambling to reach a deal with a bloc of 15 Senate Republicans threatening a government shutdown to force a fight over the Biden administration's vaccine mandates.

Why it matters: The push to defund the mandates — by holding the short-term government funding bill hostageis largely symbolic, and highly controversial within the Republican Party. A shutdown as early as midnight Friday could trigger everything from national park closures to delays in receiving Social Security checks.