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Trump to put more poor people to work to get their food stamp benefits

This news story was published on December 20, 2018.
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President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON – At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a proposed rule (PDF, 300 KB) intended to move more able-bodied recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to self-sufficiency through the dignity of work. The rule is meant to restore the system to what it was meant to be: assistance through difficult times, not lifelong dependency. Over time, without any changes in the underlying welfare reform legislation of 1996, that ideal has been watered down by out-of-control administrative flexibility in SNAP.

“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”

The rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) focuses on work-related program requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The rule would apply to non-disabled people, between the ages of 18 and 49, with no dependents. The rule would not apply to the elderly, the disabled, or pregnant women.

Under current SNAP requirements, ABAWDs must work or participate in an employment program for at least 20 hours a week to continue to receive benefits for more than three months over a 36-month period. States may request to waive the time limit in areas with an unemployment rate above 10 percent or where there are ‘not sufficient jobs,’ which current regulations primarily define as an unemployment rate 20 percent above the national average. With today’s strong economy, that could include areas with unemployment rates of under 5 percent – a rate normally considered to be full employment. In 2016 there were 3.8 million individual ABAWDs on the SNAP rolls, with 2.8 million (or almost 74 percent) of them not working.

“Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch,” Perdue said. “That is the commitment behind SNAP. But like other federal welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life.”

USDA’s proposal would help to ensure that work provisions are waived only when necessary, encouraging states to renew their focus on helping SNAP participants find a path to self-sufficiency. In a recent letter to the nation’s governors (PDF, 109 KB), Secretary Perdue explained, “These waivers weaken states’ ability to move the ABAWD population to long-term self-sufficiency because they do not require ABAWDs to engage in work and work training.”

USDA encourages all interested parties to provide input on the proposed rule, which will be posted to the Federal Register in the coming days. The comment period will be open for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

USDA’s FNS works to reduce food insecurity and promote nutritious diets among the American people. The agency administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.

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28 Responses to Trump to put more poor people to work to get their food stamp benefits

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    TAX THE RICH JUST THE SAME AS ANYONE ELSE AND PUT THE ABLE BODIES TO WORK!! BOTH NEED TO BR DONE. SOLVE ALOT OF OUR DEBT IF THE RICH PAID TAXES LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Government programs are not meant to live on. They are stepping stones to help in a hard period or to better ones self. Not to hard to figure out geniuses BUT WE GAVE THE RICH RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT SO THEY WONT ALLOW THEM SELVES TO PAY EQUALLY LIKE THE REST.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 23, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Happy Winter Time !! Hahahaha. That’s funny but what they would say !

    Merry Christmas to all !!

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 23, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Food and healthcare should be free for everyone. O and drugs too
    Happy Winter Time
    Barack & Michelle obama

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Every food stamp recipient should be drug tested once a month & anyone who tests positive for any drugs should have the stamps stopped immediately for two years.The country ‘s taxpayers shouldn’t be funding junkies drug habits..

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Anyone who is physically or mentally capable should have to “work” for their freebies.
    There’s plenty of litter in the ditches as well which no one is picking up. If a welfare person can move/walk, it’s time to get to work.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Finally! It sounds like a good plan, if only they can/will enforce it.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    It’s a myth people in the USA don’t steal to eat !!! In Mason City alone there are over 40 agencies addressing this. People go to the food bank in the morning, community kitchen for lunch, and eat steaks for supper with food stamps. People do steal for drugs !!

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    A cost of 180 a month in food will be a lot higher when we are covering their prison stay as well.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

      Average cost per inmate is 35k a year, some states cost tax payers upwards of 60k a year due to high security costs per inmate. Lifers who have taken others lives, and are now costing 60k a year until they die. Its all a giant scam made to look humane. If I were to have to spend the rest of my life in a cage, I would much rather die after sentencing rather than stretching out the suffering for those I wronged, and my family. I understand innocent people are sent to prison, I just don’t see this type of punishment as being financially responsible. Our government needs to cut back on spending just like I would If I was up to my ears in debt. Bankruptcy for a country doesn’t sound fun……

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Cost of law enforcement will go up due to more food thefts. Which will in turn start filling up our prison systems after being arrested several times for the same thing. We have a drug problem that will turn into a private prison problem the more we keep treating addiction as a crime. Laziness, and self entitled mindsets leech from the system as well. Id bet mental illness and drug addictions are the top snap users.

  10. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    It’s about damn time. I see people who both smoke cigarettes, get drunk all the time, get arrested for drugs and living off the rest of us with the damn food stamps.

  11. Allen Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Finally! Hopefully it can/will be enforced.

  12. Calvin R. Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

    How about we stop the corporate welfare problem and the insatiable greed of the 1% instead of crapping on poor people?

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Good idea but they crap on poor people because they can’t fight back.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      “Crapping on poor people”?…This proposal targets entitled, capable people that COULD WORK, but instead choose to NOT WORK and draw benefits instead.

    • Observer the Original Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 6:15 pm

      Does this mean I have to turn over my 401k and pension? Does it mean that people should stop trying to better themselves economically?

      I am all for helping the needy. And many in the corporate world feel the same way (and not just in taxes paid). Some also encourage employees to do likewise, offering matches on donations, mostly 1:1, some 2 or 3:1.

      There are many examples. The CEO of Apple for donated $100k. GE gave a five year, $18m grant to NY City public schools, $20m for world health care.

      In 2017, Americans gave $410.02 in charity. Is that the greed you spoke of?

      • Observer the Original Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2018 at 6:17 pm

        That was $410.02 billion in charity.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm

        > CEO of Apple for donated $100k.

        his paycheck alone I’s well over 10M. I’d say most Americans donate a greater percentage of their earnings than that.