Schakowsky Statement on the USDA Waiver Rule

December 20, 2018
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Hunger Caucus and Democratic Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s proposed rule for stricter work requirements for SNAP recipients.  

“Just one week after Congress passed a Farm bill that maintained funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Trump Administration has issued a proposed rule that would cut benefits for hundreds of thousands of people who rely on the program. Taking food out of the mouths of hungry Americans is far from the Christmas spirit and American values.

“This rule would strip states of the right to apply for a waiver for work requirements if jobs are not available and unemployment is high. Republicans in Congress failed to garner enough support for that disastrous work requirement in the Farm bill, so the President has taken another route to act unilaterally. This rule would absolutely increase food insecurity and affect up to 755,000 people.

“This is just another reminder that this Administration does not care about the American people. They don’t care about workers who make poverty wages with inconsistent hours and must rely on SNAP to feed their families. They don’t care about the thousands of seniors or disabled people who cannot work and rely on SNAP to survive. And they certainly don’t care about the 1 in 6 children who are food insecure and would be affected by this senseless move.

“The Administration claims that this is about the ‘dignity of work’, when this is clearly about Republicans that are hell bent on punishing the poor. These are not freeloaders, they are our fellow Americans asking for help. This is not the America that I know, and I will not sit by while President Trump attempts to rob people of a basic human need.”