Trump Proposal Would Tighten lax SNAP Application Eligibility

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. This was the President’s first trip aboard Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump talks on the phone aboard Air Force One during a flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to address a joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans, Thursday, January 26, 2017. This was the President’s first Trip aboard Air Force One. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

On Tuesday the Trump administration proposed a new rule that could remove over 3 million people from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) program, saving the nation $2.5 billion annually as well as making sure SNAP’s resources only go to those who really need it.

SNAP

SNAP is a federal program that serves around 40 million people who are disabled or low income- approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population. [1] Currently, 43 of the 50 states automatically offer SNAP to people who receive benefits from other government programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). If you’re receiving assistance from TANF, then those states don’t do any assessments of income, health, or assets before offering you SNAP.

The Trump administration proposed a rule on Tuesday, which removed the broad-based eligibility of food stamp recipients. This broad-based acceptance allows SNAP to streamline their application process for those who need help; unfortunately, however, many Americans abuse the system, getting food stamps when they don’t need them. In other words, the part that allows Americans with savings and higher-level income families to receive SNAP benefits will be removed if this new rule takes effect.

“For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who pointed out that a millionaire in Minnesota recently enrolled to highlight the problems with it. “That is why we are changing the rules, preventing abuse of a critical safety net system, so those who need food assistance the most are the only ones who receive it.” [2]

“This proposal will save money and preserve the integrity of the program,” Perdue said. “SNAP should be a temporary safety net.”

Not Happy

Perdue has said that the changes in SNAP’s application system could save the U.S. $2.5 billion every year while making sure SNAP only goes to those in need. Senator Debbie Stabenow, however, believes that this new rule is harmful and threatening to millions of children. “This proposal is yet another attempt by this Administration to circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis,” Stabenow said in a statement. “This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance. “ [3]

The proposal will go through a 60 day public comment period starting Wednesday. Then the comments will be reviewed before the proposal can go into effect.


Notes:

  1. ^Polansek, Tom. “Trump administration rule would cut 3 million people from food stamps.” U.S, 23 July 2019, www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-foodstamps/trump-administration-pursues-rule-that-would-remove-31-million-people-from-food-stamps-idUSKCN1UI0AH. (go back↩)
  2. ^Tami Luhby, Cnn. “Trump administration proposal could kick 3 million off food stamps.” CNN, 23 July 2019, edition.cnn.com/2019/07/23/politics/trump-snap-food-stamps/index.html. (go back↩)
  3. ^Reiley, Laura. “Trump proposal would push 3 million Americans off food stamps.” Washington Post, 23 July 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/07/23/usda-proposes-snap-change-that-would-push-million-americans-off-food-stamps. (go back↩)

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