Contact: Alexa Barrett, Communications Assistant
Email: alexa@equityfwd.org
Phone: (914) 602 - 3147

As Admin Slashes Food Assistance, Watchdog Highlights HHS Officials with Fringe Views

Ideologues across Trump administration continue to circumvent Congress to pass harmful policies

New York, NY – The Trump administration recently announced a plan to eliminate food stamp benefits for three million people. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture analysis, the policy “may also negatively impact food security." Equity Forward has been tracking the influence of ideologues at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who are similarly working to roll back support for our country’s most vulnerable. 

“The Trump administration is circumventing Congress so it can move forward with this dangerous policy,” said Michelle Kuppersmith, Director of Equity Forward. “The fact is that the administration filled HHS with individuals who have fringe views on social safety networks such as food assistance and health care. These individuals are pushing policies that will have real, damaging impacts on millions of Americans and should be held accountable.”

Below are key examples of the ways in which HHS officials advanced fringe policies to shred the social safety net in and out of government: 

  • Heidi Stirrup, deputy assistant secretary for policy, disparaged single mothers and argued against providing financial assistance for them.

  • Wade Horn, recent senior HHS official within the Immediate Office of the Secretary, advocated for marriage policies that would punish single parents and suggested paying women to get married during his time in former President George H.W. Bush’s HHS

  • Jonathan Hayes, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, worked to eliminate food stamps while on the Hill.

For more information on the Trump administration and HHS’ effort to undermine social programs, read our full report.


Equity Forward is a watchdog organization that works to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals.