USDA Appeals Court Ruling on Food Stamps

The Agriculture Department announced they will appeal a court decision saying it is “arbitrary and capricious” to continue cutting hundreds of thousands of people off of the SNAP program while the coronavirus epidemic is still ongoing.  According to Federal Judge Beryl Howell, as of April 1, 2020, the federal government will take away the state’s power to waiver its rules.

The courts were already in session and could not change the decision even with the coronavirus epidemic.  With the economy in a slump and people beginning to get laid off, this could not have happened at a worse time.  An Agriculture Department spokesperson told reporters through an email, “The USDA disagrees with the court’s reasoning and will appeal its decision.”

Currently, the law states, the states have the right to waive the work requirements when the unemployment rate rises.  With the court’s ruling, the states would lose that right to waiver, and the Agriculture Department gave the estimated numbers across the nation at around 700,000 people who would automatically lose their benefits.

Due to a group of state attorney generals, a lawsuit was brought forth, which caused Judge Howell to put an immediate freeze on the changes.  Judge Howell wrote, “Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential.”

The only way to stop the process was through an appeal, and it happened just in time.  Ellen Vollinger, legal director for the advocacy group, the Food Research & Action Center, expressed how the changes were a wrong decision for any circumstance.

With the epidemic taking place worldwide, it puts pressure on low-income families to maintain the required hours when the workers can be laid off at any moment’s notice.  It makes for a dangerous situation as the government is working toward containing the spread of the coronavirus.  Vollinger said, “You don’t want to have workers going out when they’re sick and trying to document the right number of hours just to keep their benefits.”

A column was written in December in the Arizona Republic, which covered this topic of the abuse of the benefits.  Perdue stated the changes expected to pass by the federal court system was to stop people from living comfortably off of the government.

Perdue wrote, “Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream.  We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand.”

Getting people off of the benefits is the main goal President Trump wanted to reach.  Billions of dollars are wasted on lazy people who feed off of handouts that they do not need or deserve.  The government is there to support not provide.  If the government were to handle every aspect of our needs, then we would be closer to communism.  This is what the President is pulling us away from.

There are some concerns about these types of situations.  When a natural disaster such as a hurricane or any given obstacle of Mother Nature’s fury, the government, usually FEMA is available to help pick up the pieces.  For any able-bodied working American citizen, situations as mentioned or layoffs should be the only reason we should turn to the government for help.

For decades, the system has been abused.  It is almost difficult to have anything good when so many people stole from the system.  The old saying goes, “The good have to suffer for the guilty.”

This time, it is the government making the call to have the national state of emergency.  In times like what we are witnessing, it would only be fair for the states to have the right to waiver for anyone affected during this time.

Vollinger added some more valid points toward the Agriculture Department.  If they continue to fight for the SNAP changes, it would be a possibility they would end up clashing with Congress.

The House of Representatives approved the relief package.  By the House’s approval, the federal government cannot step over the state’s boundaries over the SNAP program.

The President made an excellent call to declare a national state of emergency, but the SNAP program seems to be the only argument with any of the benefits involved.  The states should have the right to decide whether or not to waive.

15 thoughts on “USDA Appeals Court Ruling on Food Stamps

  1. In this time of global crisis, Americans do not need to be worried about losing their Benefits. If someone is an American Citizen, they should be entitled to the SNAP program & Food Stamps. If they are not American citizens, they should be promptly returned to whatever country that they are a citizen of. Enough is enough, and actual Americans now have sufficient problems of their own. This Wuhan Virus did not originate in our country, therefor we have no reason to cultivate any demographic that may cause another virulent virus in our home country.

  2. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This article has brought up some very good thoughts. Many are being hurt by the need to
    quarantine for safety and helping to keep the spreading of this pandemic from getting worse.
    It has affected not only the younger working class, but also the senior class, many of whom are still trying to hold down part time jobs,
    having to work to make ends meet, i.e., higher taxes on their domiciles, and many other price
    hikes. These people are really going in the hole, and it could even result in their losing their homes because their jobs are what is keeping them able to live in their own homes and pay
    for high cost of insurances and property taxes, plus other costs which have come to them because of their age.

    When the pandemic has subsided, things could and probably should resume to ruling as it is now; however, for the time being it would help a lot if they had help with their food situation.
    At least, it would relieve some of their burdens.

  4. For the time being it is the right thing to do to help people with food stamps. But when it is over every able bodied person, men and women should go to work. It is not fair to the taxpayers to keep dishing out money, medical insurance and food stamps to those too lazy to work. The program was intended to help people in emergencies not to be a way of life.

  5. Okay, that’s fair, the Federal Government can’t override the States rights to determine whether or not to override the rights of benefits. HOWEVER, the Federal government doesn’t have to pay for it, the States can pay for it and that would be fair too. The Federal Government has every right to determine the plan rules and to make changes as needed just as the States have rights to change their rules as well.

    But I don’t think the Feds changed the rules in theory, they simply took the program back to its original intentions that were in place before Obama’s administration loosened the rules allowing States to make overrides for eligibility. Very much like the Citizenship question on the Census Form which was on the form 70 years ago and then set aside during the Truman Administration in the 1950 Census. Should have been allowed to be reinstated since it was not a “NEW” question as the Leftists claimed….

  6. Grocery stores that deliver don’t take food stamps.we’re told to stay in our homes. What’s up! I’m 73 and need food.

  7. There is nothing wrong with helping people, but there is something wrong with helping people who take advantage of the generosity and it becomes their way of life.

  8. I am extremely impressed along with your writing skills and also with the layout to your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s rare to peer a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  9. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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