Kuster Statement on Trump Administration Cuts to SNAP Benefits for Approximately 700,000 Americans
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s announcement today to end nutrition assistance benefits for approximately 700,000 Americans. The Administration’s plan includes a new regulation that makes it more difficult for states to obtain waivers from a requirement that beneficiaries work or take part in a vocational training program. Approximately 74,000 New Hampshire residents received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in November 2019. In the Granite State, the average SNAP benefit per recipient, per meal is a modest $1.11.
“Nearly 700,000 Americans will be at risk of going hungry as a result of the Trump Administration’s decision to make devastating cuts to the SNAP program,” said Rep. Kuster. “These cuts demonstrate a clear lack of care and concern for Americans who are struggling to put food on the table. This is especially true for workers in low-wage, undependable jobs or those in rural areas where gainful employment opportunities may be more limited. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress rejected these cuts to the SNAP program last year – now, the Administration is using this rule to ignore the judgement of Congress. The rule recklessly casts people from the program without considering what economic, geographic, health, and other factors may contribute to their needing help putting food on the table. I hope that the President will re-think this unnecessary and cruel decision.”
Current law requires that most able-bodied adults with or without children must register for work, with waivers being granted to people under 18, elderly adults 60 and older, and those who are pregnant, disabled or in a caretaking role. According to a Brookings Institution study published last year, more stringent work requirements are likely to negatively impact people who are already working but have more sporadic, unreliable employment.
Kuster, who served on the House Agriculture Committee for six years and was a Conferee on the House Farm Bill Conference Committee, has been a vocal advocate for SNAP. Last year, she highlighted the importance of working across the aisle to protect the integrity of the program, and decried the partisan Farm Bill advanced a few months prior that included over $23 billion in cuts to SNAP.