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A woman uses an electronic benefits transfer card to buy groceries in Portland, Maine. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a plan Thursday to use its executive power to tighten the work requirements for the nation's food assistance program, the Washington Post reports.

What's happening: Americans without dependents are required to work if they collect food stamps for three months in a three-year period, but that requirement is scrapped if they live in an area where the unemployment rate is 20% higher than the national average — currently 3.7%. The Trump administration wants to allow the waiver to stand only in areas with an unemployment rate above 7%, which could force hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the program.

Tougher food assistance requirements were part of the House's version of the farm bill, but they were not included in the Senate version, which is expected to cross President Trump's desk today.

  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended the policy on a call, per the Post, "This is unacceptable to most Americans and belies common sense, particularly when employment opportunities are as plentiful as they currently are. ... This restores the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population."
  • But congressional Democrats think that the decision oversteps the executive branch's power. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the Senate Agriculture Committee's ranking member, said, "Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families."

Go deeper: Trump budget includes proposal to replace food stamps with food packages

Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.