STATEMENT: Trump’s New Proposed Cuts to Food Assistance Circumvent Congress and ‘Amount to Nothing More Than Cruelty’

Washington, D.C. — After failing to gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2018 Farm Bill, the Trump administration announced today that it plans to circumvent Congress and unilaterally slash food assistance for struggling workers and families through administrative action. A new proposed rule the administration released today would dramatically weaken SNAP by making it even harder for unemployed and underemployed workers to access food assistance, in the name of harsher work requirements.

Following the release of the administration’s proposed rule, Jacob Leibenluft, executive vice president for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

President Donald Trump wasn’t able to achieve his goal of dismantling food assistance through the Farm Bill, so now he’s sidestepping Congress to attack SNAP by fiat. We’ve seen this before. After Republican leaders in Congress failed to carry out Trump’s cruel health care agenda legislatively, Trump spent the last year doing everything he can to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid through executive action. Now, he’s deploying the same playbook to take away food assistance from struggling families.

Make no mistake—Trump’s proposed cuts to food assistance amount to nothing more than cruelty. Making someone hungrier won’t help them find work any faster. In fact, research suggests that when people have access to basics such as food, housing, and health care, they are better able to work and have higher earnings.

Trump’s latest attack on struggling families comes as we mark the one-year anniversary of his lopsided tax law, which gave more money in tax cuts to the richest 1 percent alone than the entire SNAP program costs. If Trump were serious about helping the “forgotten men and women” he pledged to fight for during his presidential campaign, he’d embrace policies that actually help struggling workers and families, such as raising the poverty-level federal minimum wage, increasing access to affordable child care, and investing in programs that help people prepare for and find good jobs.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick jcusick@americanprogress.org or 202-495-3682.