Raise your hand if you’ve lost a friend or two (or 30!) during this election season. I definitely have. As we finally reach the end of a 2+ year run for the presidency, I can finally reflect on what this election cycle has meant to me. I can list thirty million things, but one of the most significant is that I have lost a few friends.
Up until the 2020 election run, I really believed that I could be friends with anyone regardless of their political ideology. I had done it my entire life.
This week’s Breathing Room is an encouragement to us all to stop for a moment and remind ourselves that, yes, we are privileged to have time and air to breathe, and most importantly, to stop and take that breath.
As the U.S. faces a third wave of coronavirus cases and some cities and states prepare for another round of shutdowns, thousands of households are continuing to face economic hardship and food insecurity. Earlier this year, the Trump administration finalized a proposed rule change that would have blocked nearly 700,000 people from getting essential food assistance, one of three of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The new rule would have affected the eligibility criteria for able-bodied adults with no dependents, limiting states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and requiring individuals to be employed to receive benefits. It was struck down last week by a federal judge after Pennsylvania and California residents sued Trump’s Agricultural Department. Critics say that this proposal is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to continue its deregulatory war on existing safety net programs, even as businesses struggle and the number of newly unemployed households remains high as a result of the pandemic. “The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” explained D.C Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, in a 67-page opinion.