FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS CUTS TO FOOD STAMPS, SAYS CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC MAKES BENEFITS 'ESSENTIAL'
By Matt Kelly, Newsweek March 13
A federal judge cited the coronavirus on Friday to explain her decision to block the Trump administration's plan to cut food benefits.
Washington D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell granted a preliminary injunction, stopping plans that would require more stringent work requirements on people seeking food stamps. The plan was estimated to cut as many as 700,000 people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or roughly 2 percent of enrollees, according to TheNew York Times.
"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," Howell wrote in the ruling.The injunction was requested by attorneys general from fourteen states as well as New York City and the District of Columbia. Without the ruling, the cuts to SNAP would have taken effect next month. Two other proposed cuts to SNAP are pending, however. The blocked cut would have only granted three months' worth of benefits to unemployed, able-bodied adults without children.