CHN: House Members Announce They Will Sue USDA Over Final Rule to Deny SNAP to Nearly 700,000 Poor People

Many members of Congress joined with anti-hunger advocates on December 19 to stand outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s offices to voice strong opposition to USDA’s recently announced final rule expected to result in close to 700,000 poor individuals losing SNAP assistance. The rule significantly restricts states’ authority to waive the harsh time limit imposed on individuals without dependents. The rule is contrary to the intent of Congress, which rejected these restrictions in the bipartisan farm bill passed in 2018.

Members of Congress speaking passionately against the USDA rule included Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Chair of the Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee, and many members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Also speaking was Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), a member of this subcommittee and also Chair of the House Rules Committee. He announced that Congress had included legislative language giving it the right to sue USDA if it imposed restrictions such as this new rule, and that they would pursue such a lawsuit.

Anti-hunger champions including Jim Weill, President of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) and Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, also spoke against the final rule, which unless stopped in court or by Congress will take effect on April 1. For more information, see FRAC’s website.