On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Legal Momentum submitted written comments opposing the Department of Agriculture’s proposed regulations, which seek to limit eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in light of decreasing unemployment rates. Public benefits provide a vital lifeline for low-income women and survivors of gender-based violence. Advocating on behalf women nationwide, Legal Momentum’s comments sought to highlight the problematic nature of the Department’s narrow focus on declining unemployment rates:
States Could Reduce Extreme Child Poverty Sharply By Enrolling in TANF the Millions of TANF-Eligible Children Who Are Enrolled in SNAP but not in TANFAn estimated 3.7 million families with about 7 million children are eligible for TANF but not receiving it. SNAP, unlike TANF, enrolls most eligible children. States could reduce extreme child poverty simply by enrolling in TANF all TANF-eligible SNAP-recipient children.
The Republican budget plan recently passed by the House on a party line vote would cut SNAP (Food Stamps) by $135 billion (almost 18%) over ten years and would apply to SNAP the “welfare reform” principles that were applied to cash assistance by the 1996 law that created TANF to replace AFDC. SNAP now aids 48 million low income persons in 23 million households. A contraction in SNAP like that in cash assistance could leave millions of parents and children with little or nothing for their basic needs.