CHN: 71,000 Weigh in on SNAP Rule; Comment Period Extended

The USDA has extended the comment period on a proposed rule that could result in 755,000 very poor Americans losing SNAP benefits. The original deadline for submitting comments was Tuesday, April 2. But due to a technical glitch, USDA on April 3 announced it will re-open the comment period for 72 hours, beginning Monday, April 8 and ending Wednesday, April 10.

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) reported that USDA had received 71,000 comments by the original deadline.

Under the rule, food benefits would be time-limited for unemployed and underemployed people who cannot document sufficient weekly work hours. These recipients would only be able to receive three months of benefits every three years because states would have far less flexibility to waive the time limits for areas with limited employment opportunities. (For more about the rule, see our March 4 Human Needs Report.) CHN, FRAC, Feeding America, Center for American Progress, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and allies have engaged in a joint campaign urging members of the public to submit comments to USDA in opposition to the rule.

Meanwhile, in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sent on Tuesday, April 2, House Democrats demanded that the Trump administration withdraw its proposed rule change.

“SNAP recipients are our nation’s most vulnerable—nearly 20 million are children, almost 5 million are low-income seniors, and 1.5 million are military veterans,” reads the Democrats’ letter, which was signed by Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and more than a dozen others. “The proposed rule is a continued pursuit of the flawed political ideology that was resoundingly rejected by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill.”

On April 8, FRAC will reactivate its comment platform so that members of the public can submit comments directly from FRAC’s website:

Comment templates and other resources are available on the FRAC website as well as on the joint comment campaign page that FRAC cohosts with Feeding America, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Center for American Progress  (accessible via