The Republican-led Senate had no trouble approving a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and setting the country back $2.3 trillion, according to The POLITICO. Yet, when it comes to handing out a few dollars to those unemployed by the pandemic, they freeze their funds. Why is that?
Generally, the Republicans in Congress value a person based upon her wealth. The ultra-rich have it, so they are deserving. However, anyone who has fallen on hard times should be blamed for it themselves. Their twisted thinking holds these Americans with contempt, as having a serious character flaw–laziness. They mistakenly feel that any funds to this group come directly out of their own pocket.
Donald Trump’s White House tried to end the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamp benefits) for almost 700,000 people who were unceremoniously unemployed due to the pandemic. Fortunately, a federal judge came from a point of fairness, calling the move “arbitrary and capricious.” This judge blocked the first in a series of three planned moves by Trump to tighten the federal food safety net.
Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell of Washington, D.C. reprimanded the Agriculture Department. The judge said that in a coronavirus pandemic with quadrupled unemployment, the program had increased SNAP. Over six million people signed up as new enrollees, according to The Washington Post:
‘[The rule] at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans. [The Agriculture Department] has been icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country. [The department’s[ utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.’
Howell’s ruling favored the lawsuit’s plaintiffs:
‘[A] coalition of 19 states, D.C., New York City and private groups that sued to stop the new rule, finalized in December, to eliminate states’ discretion to waive work requirements in distressed economic areas.’
New York Attorney General Letitia James released a statement about the ruling:
‘[It is] a win for common sense and basic human decency. [The rule] would have not only made it harder for thousands to feed their families and risk them going hungry, but would have exacerbated the public health crisis we face and the economic recession we are still in the midst of under President Trump.’
Attorneys general from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New York, California, and the other 15 states charged that Trump exorcising almost $5.5 billion from the SNAP program meant “drastic cuts” for those without children.
According to the states, they are best suited to keep an eye on their own economic health. They argued:
‘[Eliminating] essential food assistance for benefits recipients who live in areas with insufficient jobs.’
The plaintiffs argued that “able-bodied adults without dependents, between the ages of 18 and 49” only get their benefits for three months unless they have a job or are part of a training program 80 hours per month.
This condition was waived by the states due to the pandemic.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said:
‘[It was] about restoring the original intent of food stamps . . . moving more able-bodied Americans to self-sufficiency.’
According to Perdue, the number of people receiving benefits from SNAP increased from 17 million in 2000 to 36 million in 2020.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said “food insecurity and hunger are a reality:”
‘From the community college student seeking to advance their career to the senior living on a fixed income, food insecurity and hunger are a reality for a wide breadth of low-income New Yorkers and we have an obligation to help them during their time in need. These measures will help a greater number of individuals and families access benefits that will prevent them from facing the dire reality of food insecurity.’
Twitter world was shocked at this Trump move. Take a look at some of our favorite responses below:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.