For the second time this year, SNAP (aka food stamps), and the families that rely most on it, are under attack by the Trump Administration. Now they are going after Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (or “Cat El”).
Cat What? I know it sounds really wonky but we’ll explain why it’s so important below!
Basically, Cat El is a policy that does a lot of great things! It gives states’ options to eliminate SNAP asset tests and use a higher income test. To qualify for SNAP, the average family must have less than $2250 in assets, defined as resources that could be available to the household to purchase food, such as amounts in bank accounts. They also must have an income that is generally at or below 130 percent of the poverty line. Cat El makes it so more working households that exceed the asset and income limits, but have significant expenses for housing and child care, can still qualify for SNAP. It also lets families who sign up for one essential program (like SNAP) automatically qualify for other programs (like free school lunches).
The proposed USDA rule would gut Cat El. It is estimated to eliminate SNAP for 3.1 million individuals, take free school meals away from 500,000 children, and punish people with even meager savings. It will also harm the economy, grocery retailers, and rural communities who rely on agricultural producers for their local economy. How does this rule do that? It will reduce the amount of SNAP dollars available to spur local economic activity and harm local businesses who rely on every dollar. This is such a shame since we know just how much SNAP helps our families and our communities!
Cat El policies have been in place for more than twenty years and are a proven policy that works. Congress rejected efforts to gut Cat El, most recently just last year in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Moms, families, and concerned citizens know what is up and see this rule for what it is: another harmful attack by this Administration on families and an attempt to sidestep Congress.
Not on our watch.
With all of the yuck happening due to the Trump Administration’s actions (or at times inactions), it can feel like things are out of our control and overwhelming. Yet, by signing our petition, you are creating real change. Comments help us slow down these terrible rules because the Administration and USDA have to respond to every single comment. Comments also help advocates build a court case against the rule. By using your voice today, you are able to put a wrench in the Administration's harmful actions and help the families that will be hurt by this rule change.
The more people who make their voices heard, the bigger impact we can have. After you’ve signed your name, please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family and post this link to Facebook.
Together, we are a powerful voice for all Americans!
P.S. Join us on Twitter on August 14th from 3-4pmET for the #HandsOffSNAP Twitterstorm. You can find us using the handle @MomsRising.