Kalena Thomhave

Kalena Thomhave is a writing fellow at the Prospect.

Follow @kalenasthom

Recent Articles

February Food Stamps Are Here Early—That’s Good News and Bad News

It’s not clear that anything is coming any time soon after that. 

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty A sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer's market in Topsham, Maine. T he effects of the government shutdown are spreading to affect people beyond the federal workers and contractors who have not been paid for nearly a month. Recently, there was serious concern that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) benefits wouldn’t be issued for the month of February if the shutdown continued. Some governmental tinkering with appropriation funds has seemed to solve this problem, and most people who receive SNAP across the country received their February benefits early—around January 20. A sigh of relief. “Our motto here at USDA has been to ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone.’ With this solution, we’ve got the ‘Feed Everyone’ part handled,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement . Yet, though people will be able to access their February benefits, there is...

Why Scott Walker’s Welfare Legacy Will Outlast Him

Although Walker was ousted from the governorship by progressive Tony Evers, the state legislature has ensured that Wisconsin will remain a model for abusing the poor.

Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker arrives to deliver his state of the state address at the Capitol in Madison. D emocrat Tony Evers was sworn in as the new governor of Wisconsin last week, after he bested Republican incumbent Scott Walker in November’s election. But thanks to an extraordinary session of Wisconsin’s lame-duck Republican legislature last month, Evers will likely have his hands tied if he’d like to pull back some of Walker’s most pernicious reforms, those targeting low-income people and their benefits, such as food assistance and health coverage. Preserving Walker’s welfare legacy was a priority when the state legislature met in early December. As the media widely reported, legislators quickly voted to limit the power of the newly Democratic executive branch, but the details of these post-election laws signed by Walker foretell a difficult future for public assistance programs in the state. In consequence, Wisconsin,...

Failing to Restrict Food Stamps in the Farm Bill, Trump Takes Another Route

“If at first you don’t succeed, try a less democratic option.”

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue attends a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House. T wo years into this administration, of this we can be certain: When the president doesn’t get what he wants—legislative wins in, say, immigration or health care —he will turn toward other means to ram his agenda through. Consider the case of food stamps. When the farm bill finally passed both the House and Senate last week, the final bill left out House Republicans’ work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly called food stamps), which would have endangered food assistance for millions of people. Not surprisingly, this was a favored provision for President Trump. When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers - hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved. Senate should go to 51 votes! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)...

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