Biden kills Trump plan to take food stamps from 68K N.J. residents

Posted Jun 16, 2021

President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday reversed former President Donald Trump’s proposed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program spending cuts that would have taken food stamps away from 68,000 New Jerseyans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture ended Trump’s efforts to stop New Jersey and other states from providing benefits to individuals earning above 130% of the poverty level, but had no extra money because of high housing costs.

The proposed rule also prevented states from gradually reducing benefits as recipients earn more money. New Jersey is raising its minimum wage in stages to $15 an hour by 2024.

Then-state Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said at the time that Trump’s proposal “would cause serious harm and threaten the health and well-being of tens of thousands of working families, children, seniors and people with disabilities”

The state had 825,326 people receiving food stamps as of March 2021, according to USDA. That was up 23.7% from the previous year as unemployment spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.

In making the original proposal in July 2019, USDA officials said they simply were trying to close a loophole allowing people who didn’t need food stamps to still get them. An estimated 3.1 million Americans would lose their benefits if the new rules are approved, the government said at the time.

But in withdrawing the proposal, the agency said the cuts “did not sufficiently justify the impact” on the households that would lose their benefits, and there wasn’t data to support the reductions.

The Trump administration had acted after House Republicans failed to make changes to the food stamp program that would have taken benefits away from 35,000 New Jersey residents.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-06-17 03:20:58 -0700