Page 31 - Soundwave Magazine
P. 31

 The new rule, which is set to take effect on April 1, 2020, will tighten the criteria for states applying for such waivers, making 6 percent the minimum unemployment rate for a county to receive a waiver.
Officials say about 7 percent of the individuals on SNAP are considered able-bodied adults without depend- ents (ABAWDs) and that the rule will save the government $5.5 billion over five years.
“Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told reporters. “This is about restoring the original intent of food stamps ... moving more able-bodied Americans to self-sufficiency.”
Perdue cited a booming economy as incentive for tightening states’ waivers. In 2000, the unemployment rate was 4 percent and the number of Americans receiving SNAP benefits was just over 17 million. In 2019, dur- ing the longest economic expansion in history, the number of Americans receiving SNAP is over 36 million.
“Unemployment is 3.6 percent, the lowest in 50 years,” Perdue said. “There are currently more job openings than people to fill them.”
Brandon Lipps, the USDA deputy undersecretary for food nutrition and consumer services, told reporters the new rule does not affect children and their parents, those over 50 years old, those with a disability or pregnant women. It is restricted to individuals 18 to 49 without dependents. Lipps said the USDA estimates 74 percent of the ABAWDs are not working.
It is deeply disappointing that despite overwhelming opposition to this
proposal, the White House has finalized a rule that stiffens work requirements for millions of SNAP participants, which will likely lead to hundreds of thousands of people losing their benefits,” said Share Our Strength’s senior vice president, Lisa Davis.
The other two proposed rule changes, not yet final, aim to cap deductions for utility allowance and to limit access to SNAP for working poor families.
A study by the Urban Institute shows the combined impact of these rules would cut 3.7 million people from SNAP in an average month. Millions more would experience reductions in monthly benefits and 982,000 students would lose automatic access to free or reduced-price school meals.
Stacy Dean, vice president of food assistance policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says the final ABAWDs rule makes it much harder for states with high unemploy- ment to qualify for waivers during a national recession.
“That change really weakens SNAP’s ability to assist the unemployed during an economic downturn,” she said. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), chairwoman of the House Agriculture subcommittee on nutrition, oversight and department operations, noted Congress voted against these policies in the 2018 Farm Bill.
And 47 senators from both parties urged the administration to withdraw the rule, according to a statement from Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), the Senate Agriculture Committee’s ranking Democrat.
“This is an unacceptable escalation of the administration’s war on working
families, and it comes during a time when too many are forced to stretch already-thin budgets to make ends meet. The USDA is the Grinch that stole Christmas. Shame on them,” Fudge said in a statement.
Reminder: FDA to Enforce Ban on Certain Flavored Electronic Cartridge and Pod-Based Nicotine Products As a reminder, as of February 6, the FDA has begun enforcement of a Final Guidance policy that prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and sale of flavored cartridge-based and pod-based electronic nicotine delivery products (other than tobacco-flavored and menthol- flavored), unless a specific product has already received a Premarket Tobacco Authorization (PMTA) approval order from the FDA.
The FDA defines a “cartridge-based” electronic nicotine delivery product as consisting of “a cartridge or pod that holds liquid that is to be aerosolized through product use” and “a cartridge or pod is any small, enclosed unit (sealed or unsealed) designed to fit within or operate as part of an electronic nicotine delivery system.”
This means that a cartridge or pod is separated from the actual electronic cigarette device and must be fit into or be attached to the device.
Under the Final Guidance policy, a self-contained, sealed, disposable electronic cigarette product can continue to be sold on and after February 6, whether flavored or not by any retailer.
However, a manufacturer will need to file a PMTA application for the disposable electronic cigarette product with the FDA on or before May 12 to allow the product to continue to be sold during the FDA PMTA application review period, which runs for up to twelve months

   29   30   31   32   33