Schumer Floor Remarks On The Trump Administration's Heartless, Cruel Plan To Take Food Assistance Benefits Away From Hundreds Of Thousands Of Americans

December 4, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding reports that the Trump administration has finalized a heartless rule that would cut hundreds of thousands off the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today, the Trump administration announced it had completed a new rule that would potentially throw hundreds of thousands of needy Americans off food assistance. Let me repeat: hundreds of thousands of people who need food and have struggled to find employment would be kicked off federal food assistance under a new Trump administration rule.

Right now, there are about 37 million Americans who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The vast majority of them work but don’t earn enough to feed their families, and those who don’t work qualify for assistance for three months out of every three years. Under the new rule, the Trump administration would trample on states’ ability to request waivers to these strict time limits in areas of great unemployment. Nearly every state in the union has requested a waiver at one point or another.

The Trump administration is driving the vulnerable into hunger just as the Christmas season approaches. It is heartless. It is cruel. It exposes a deep and shameful cruelness, and hypocrisy in this administration.

One of the Trump administration justifications for these cuts is that they will save the government money. Well, two years ago this very month, the Trump administration blew a more-than-trillion-dollar hole in our deficit with a gargantuan tax cut for corporations and the ultra-rich. The Trump administration argued it was money well spent. Now, the same administration says we have to pinch pennies when it comes to helping the hungry, particularly around Christmas time? This makes the Grinch look charitable. The same Trump administration that has steered millions of dollars to wealthy agribusinesses and foreign-owned entities is now saying they need to save money by cutting off food aid to poor families who need it.

This is jarring hypocrisy. It shows, clear as day, where this administration’s priorities truly lie—with the rich and powerful, not the most vulnerable members of our society.