Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: Trump’s SNAP Rule Is Not Only Cruel But Will Also Hurt the Economy, Says CAP’s Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines
Press Statement

STATEMENT: Trump’s SNAP Rule Is Not Only Cruel But Will Also Hurt the Economy, Says CAP’s Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would limit states’ ability to waive work requirements for people who utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). By the administration’s own estimate, this rule will cause approximately 700,000 people to lose access to critical nutrition assistance by curtailing states’ flexibility to offer benefits to jobless or underemployed workers in places where the economy is struggling. This rule is one of three rules proposed by the Trump administration in 2019 alone to cut SNAP.

Following the announcement of the final rule, Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines, vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

SNAP is the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program and critical to helping low-income families address the effects of poverty. Yet three times this year, the Trump administration has ruthlessly tried to take food off the tables of struggling families. It’s also important to note that Trump’s cruelty will hurt some more than others: Our analysis shows that people with disabilities; women; and those from Black, Latinx, rural, and LGBTQ communities, along with people with criminal records and women, will be disproportionately affected by this rule.

But if the sheer inhumanity of the Trump administration marking the holiday season by announcing plans to rip the food off the tables of hungry people isn’t enough, it’s also clear that this rule will hurt the economy. SNAP is one of our nation’s most impactful economic stimulus programs—generating as much as $1.74 in economic activity for every $1 of SNAP benefits spent during an economic downturn. We expect this rule to cost the United States nearly 18,900 jobs in 2020 and more than 178,000 job-years over the next 10 years, ultimately shrinking economic activity by as much as $2.6 billion per year during the next recession.

We are deeply disappointed that the administration has chosen a pathway that ignores the will of our elected leaders in Congress, which, by a bipartisan majority, rejected this exact proposal in last year’s Farm Bill.

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at [email protected] or 202-495-3682.