Pelosi Statement on Amicus Brief in District of Columbia, et al. v. Department of Agriculture

January 27, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement as the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in the court case District of Columbia, et al. v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, which seeks to block the Trump Administration’s unlawful rule that weakens states’ ability to provide food assistance for thousands of Americans relying on the lifeline of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in high-unemployment areas:

“The Trump Administration’s callous and contemptuous decision to steal food off the table of nearly 700,000 Americans is both clearly unlawful and profoundly immoral.  For decades, Congress has reaffirmed SNAP’s vital importance as a lifeline for millions of Americans as a pathway out of poverty, including most recently in 2018 when Congress explicitly rejected attempts by the Administration and Republicans to insert these unjustifiable policies into the Farm Bill.  As the House brief states, ‘the Rule effects an end-run around the 2018 Farm Bill… This Court should not countenance a rule that is so contrary to established law and punishes low-income Americans, causing irreparable injury.’

“The Administration’s ongoing assault on SNAP, which is the most effective anti-hunger initiative in our nation’s history, will cause ‘irreparable harm’ to those it is intended to help and ‘will spur hunger, compounding food insecurity, dangers to public health, and risks to many families.’  This attack on SNAP, in addition to being cruel, also showcases this Administration’s anti-truth, anti-government agenda, ignoring the fact that SNAP injects $1.79 into the economy for every dollar in benefits and lowers health care costs by nearly $1,400 per person.

“Since Day One of this Congress, the House has fought the Administration’s attacks on hungry Americans, and we will continue to work in the Congress and in the courts to ensure all Americans can put food on the table.  Instead of increasing hunger and perpetuating false-perceptions of low-income Americans, the Trump Administration should work with Congress to connect workers to good-paying jobs and address the crisis of income disparity in America.”