Notice to Stakeholders: USDA Re-Opens Comment Period on Proposed SNAP Rule to Ensure All Interested Parties Can Be Heard

Underscoring its commitment to customer input on its actions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today sent a notice for publication in the Federal Register to re-open the comment period for the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):  Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents” proposed rule.

The rule proposes changes to the standards by which states could seek to waive SNAP requirements to maintain time limits on the participation of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) that do not meet work or training requirements.  It was published in the Federal Register on February 1, with a public comment period that ended on April 2. 

For a number of hours on April 1 and 2, the comment portal on www.federalregister.gov had difficulty in accepting comments from the public on proposed rules, including the ABAWD proposed rule.  During that time, the main federal government comments portal, www.regulations.gov, was fully operational and accepting comments.  However, the department received reports that some commenters were unable to upload their input because of the problems on www.federalregister.gov.

Therefore, USDA is reopening the comment period on April 8, 2019, for a period of 3 days ending April 10, 2019.  The department has taken this extraordinary step to make sure that anyone seeking to share views on this important regulatory proposal is able to do so.  All written comments submitted in response to this proposed rule during either of the two comment periods will be included in the regulatory record, made available to the public, and considered carefully in preparing a final rule. Given the technological challenges federalregister.gov has experienced earlier this week, FNS encourages stakeholders to submit comments via regulations.gov.