Skip to Content

Press Releases

Fudge Slams Administration for Appealing ABAWD Ruling

WASHINGTON – House Agriculture Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee Chair Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio reacted Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) appeal of a federal district court ruling striking down the Trump Administration’s rule to strip Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits away from able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).

“Just weeks before the transition of power, the Administration is still trying to strip food assistance from hungry people in the middle of a pandemic,” said Rep. Fudge. “As the holiday season approaches, millions of our fellow Americans are jobless and struggling to feed their families through no fault of their own. While there would never be a good time to appeal this ruling, it is especially cruel to do so at a time when more people need help than ever before. This will inevitably be a difficult holiday season for many families. We should be focused on strengthening nutrition assistance programs that give struggling Americans a hand up, not cutting the critical lifelines on which they rely during this difficult time.”

On October 18, Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling striking down the USDA rule imposing stricter work requirements on ABAWDs. In her opinion, Chief Judge Howell criticized the USDA for being “icily silent about how many ABAWDs would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought in the Final Rule been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country and congressional action had not intervened to suspend any time limits of receipt of those benefits.” Chief Judge Howell also criticized the Department for disregarding the adverse impact of the rule on minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. The House had filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs’ request to reverse the rule, on the grounds that it contradicts Congressional intent.
Back to top