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Fudge: White House War on the Poor Continues with Changes to SNAP Standard Utility Allowance

Washington, October 3, 2019

WASHINGTON – Ohio Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations, issued a statement Thursday in response to a proposal from the White House that would cut $4.5 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The change, which involves eliminating state flexibility in administering the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), would reduce benefits for 19 percent of SNAP recipient households, while as many as 8,000 households would lose eligibility for SNAP benefits entirely.

“This Administration says it cares about working families, but as usual, the President says one thing and does the opposite,” said Rep. Fudge. “Whether it’s the hypocrisy of preaching states’ rights while restricting states’ flexibility or espousing smaller government while putting more bureaucratic barriers in place, the President and his Administration are fully engaged in open war on the American poor, and I cannot stand for it.”

The SUA changes follow twelve other separate proposals advanced by the Administration attacking benefits for low-income communities, including but not limited to: tightening work requirements and limiting use of categorical eligibility in SNAP; scrapping regulations on payday lenders that prey disproportionately on lower-income Americans; recalculating the federal poverty line to reduce the number of people who qualify for assistance; denying green cards to people the Administration deems likely to apply for benefits; and imposing work requirements on Medicaid recipients. 

“The proposed change to the Standard Utility Allowance is only the latest in a long list of planned cuts to critical assistance working families count on to provide for their basic necessities and put food on the table,” Rep. Fudge added. “Instead of declaring a war on poverty, this President has declared war on our most vulnerable citizens.”
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