As the Donald Trump administration prepares more regulations to strip poor people of food benefits, Republicans on Capitol Hill are launching something of a charm offensive.
During a hearing Thursday, Republicans pointed to 66-year-old Rob Undersander, a retired Minnesota millionaire who signed up for federal food assistance last year just to prove that some of the program’s enrollees don’t deserve help.
“He did this to call attention to the flaws in the system,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) said of Undersander, who responded with a nod from the front row of the audience.
Democrats had called the hearing to highlight the possible bad effects of a rules change under consideration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It would be the agency’s second regulation targeting food assistance, part of the Trump administration’s overall effort to slash social programs.