‘A Grinch': Gov. Walz blasts Trump administration over food stamp cuts

Gov. Tim Walz on Monday compared President Donald Trump to the Grinch over the Trump administration’s plan to restrict how thousands of low-income Minnesotans access food stamp benefits.

Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan briefly helped stocking shelves and assisting a customer at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center food shelf Monday, calling attention to the proposed cuts. 

The administration’s rule changes would require more able-bodied adults without children to work at least 20 hours a week – or receive job training – to qualify for benefits. Walz said it would lead more Minnesotans to go hungry.

“There’s just no sense in it because in the long run – we’ve seen this time and time again – there is no money savings that comes out of this,” Walz told reporters. “This is about people trying to pass a moral judgment and trying to stigmatize people who are in hunger.”

The Trump administration proposed the cuts in early December, arguing that they will motivate people to join the workforce. Unless a court intervenes, they’ll take effect in April.

The changes involve how the state applies for waivers of the work requirements.

Currently, the state can apply for waivers in 26 Minnesota counties with high unemployment, waiving the work requirements for food stamp recipients. Under the proposal, the state will be able to get waivers for just four of those counties, state officials said Monday.

Walz and Flanagan blasted the Trump administration’s pre-Christmas announcement of the cuts.

“I don’t know about you, but I think it is being kind when we call President Trump a Grinch,” Flanagan said. “This is completely unacceptable and the most vulnerable people in Minnesota will not have food in their bellies.”