In Senate AG Hearing, Brown Presses Trump Official to End Proposal to Take Food Assistance Away From Millions of Americans

Under New Rule, An Estimated 61,000 Ohio Households Would Lose Access to SNAP Program; Nearly 1,000,000 Poor Children Would Lose Access to Free-school Lunch Program

AG Hearing Food Assistance

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pressed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky to withdraw a proposed rule to eliminate categorical eligibility, which would take food assistance away from millions of children, working families, and seniors currently participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Congress explicitly rejected this proposal in the 2018 Farm Bill, which passed with a bipartisan vote and was signed into law by President Trump. Under this new rule, an estimated 61,000 households in Ohio would lose access to this important program.

On Wednesday, the USDA released a report that found 1,000,000 children will lose eligibility for free or reduced school lunch.

“It’s despicable that President Trump would pull the rug out from under hungry Ohioans. These families shouldn’t be forced to jump through additional bureaucratic hoops to put food on the table. If President Trump really wants to save taxpayer money, he should roll back the tax bill giveaways to Wall Street millionaires and billionaires,” said Brown.

In September, Brown joined his colleagues in letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging Perdue to withdraw the proposal, citing the negative consequences of the rule and noting that the Administration has not conducted an accurate analysis of its impact on children and families. Brown also raised concerns that the Administration failed to conduct an accurate regulatory impact assessment. In a briefing to Congressional staff, the USDA acknowledged that, at a minimum, 500,000 children would lose access to school meals; however, these impacts, among others, are not included in the required analysis.

According to analysis by Mathematica, at least 3.6 million SNAP participants will lose SNAP benefits as a result of this proposed rule.

Watch Brown’s remarks here.