U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay

Yesterday’s announcement by the Trump Administration is step one of a three-part attack on the poorest and most vulnerable that ultimately aims to deprive 3 million of our fellow Americans of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), including half a million low-income children who would no longer have access to free or reduced school lunches. In St. Louis, over 32,000 children participate in free or reduced lunch benefits, and over 900,000 children in Missouri also participate.

The cruelty and hypocrisy of Donald Trump and his administration is despicable. 

He intends to punish the poorest Americans for being poor while he gives away $16 billion to millionaire farmers to compensate them for the ruinous trade war with China that he started. 

And that is on top of the $2 trillion Trump Tax Scam that gave 83 percent of the benefits to the richest 1 percent of Americans, while exploding the budget deficit by putting the bill on the national credit card with no way to pay for it. 

This new SNAP rule by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will do real human damage to military families and the poorest Americans in both urban and rural communities.

I will fight this cruel, depraved plan with all that I have. I will continue to fight for SNAP benefits and access to free and reduced lunches for our children.

The new USDA SNAP rule will also weaken states’ ability to provide food assistance in high-unemployment areas and will fall most heavily on the most vulnerable population groups. 

Donald Trump and USDA are not only assaulting the urban poor, this new rule will cause widespread suffering in rural America as well.

SNAP is a critical lifeline for over 36 million low-income Americans. 

It is shocking and shameful that during this holiday season, the president and his administration have chosen to continue along their morally bankrupt path that is lacking in both compassion and human kindness. 

I urge all my colleagues to join me in opposition to this hurtful, heartless and dangerous rule, as we redouble our efforts to stand up for SNAP.

U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) represents Missouri’s 1st Congressional District.

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