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President Trump directs government to slash SNAP (food stamps) benefits


This news story was published on December 4, 2019.
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President Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a final rule to move more able-bodied recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) towards self-sufficiency and into employment. The rule restores the system to what Congress intended: assistance through difficult times, not a way of life.

“Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream. We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand,” said Secretary Perdue. “Now, in the midst of the strongest economy in a generation, we need everyone who can work, to work. This rule lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans re-enter the workforce where there are currently more job openings than people to fill them.”

More from Secretary Perdue can be found in his Arizona Daily Star op-ed: The dignity of work and the American Dream.

Background:

In 1996, when then President Bill Clinton signed welfare reform instituting the current work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) he said, “First and foremost, it should be about moving people from welfare to work. It should impose time limits on welfare… It [work] gives structure, meaning and dignity to most of our lives.”

With a booming economy that has more jobs than workers to fill them and the lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years, now is the time for every work-capable American to find employment. In fact, the latest U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) figures show the unemployment rate is 3.6% and there are 7.0 million job openings. The longer an individual is out of the workforce, the harder it is to re-enter. Now is the time for these individuals to enter, reenter, and remain in the workforce.

To put things in perspective, in 2000, the unemployment rate was 4% and the number of Americans receiving SNAP benefits was just over 17 million. In 2019, during the longest economic expansion in history, the unemployment rate is 3.6% and yet the number of Americans receiving SNAP is over 36 million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule promotes work for able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents and does not apply to children and their parents, those over 50 years old including the elderly, those with a disability, or pregnant women.

Long-standing SNAP statute limits these adults to three months of benefits in a three-year period – unless they work or participate in work training for at least 20 hours per week. The law allows states to apply for waivers of this time limit due to economic conditions, but prior to the rule, counties with an unemployment rate as low as 2.5% were included in waived areas. Under USDA’s rule, states retain their statutory flexibility to waive the time-limit in areas of high unemployment and to exempt a percentage of their ABAWD caseload. Even when working, those who qualify from an income perspective, will still receive their SNAP benefits.

There are multiple ways for individuals to engage and maintain their SNAP benefits, from working, to preparing for work, and volunteering. States have a responsibility to assess individuals as work-capable and must renew their focus on helping SNAP participants to find a path to self-sufficiency. There are a number of tools to assist with challenges. For example, states are provided funding to operate Employment and Training programs, which can provide everything from job training to necessary work supports, such as boots, uniforms, and transit subsidies. States also have access to programs and services provided by other Federal agencies, state and county governments, and local service providers.

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement after the Trump Administration issued a final rule that increases “onerous work requirements for hungry Americans” relying on the lifeline of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and weakens states’ ability to provide food assistance in high-unemployment areas, and threatens the benefits of millions, including 688,000 within the first month:

“Today’s announcement showcases the Trump Administration’s complete and devastating disregard for the health and well-being of millions of Americans. Their cynical effort to perpetuate false perceptions of low-income Americans is out-of-touch and callous, and stands in direct opposition to the bipartisan, bicameral will of the Congress, which has repeatedly rejected similar attacks on working Americans and instead passed a strong Farm Bill that bolsters rural communities and critical nutrition initiatives.

“SNAP is the country’s most effective anti-hunger initiative, providing a critical lifeline to more than 36 million hard-working Americans across the nation. Yet, instead of combating food insecurity for millions, connecting workers to good-paying jobs or addressing income inequality, the Administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability. At the same time, the Trump Administration’s flouting of Congress’s will sadly puts on display its anti-government, anti-science and anti-truth agenda.

“Absent Democratic support, the last three Farm Bills would have never passed Congress: a testament to our unwavering commitment to both farm communities and food-insecure Americans. House Democrats unequivocally oppose this hurtful and dangerous rule and will continue to safeguard SNAP to ensure all Americans can put food on the table. We will honor our values of dignity and opportunity for all as we deliver on our promises For The People.”

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24 Responses to President Trump directs government to slash SNAP (food stamps) benefits

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2019 at 7:38 am

    If you don’t have a job in this economy then you don’t want to work. Be proud contribute to our wonderful Country.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2019 at 7:33 am

    It’s about time. I see too many people using food stamps while dressing nicer than I do, wearing expensive jewelry and driving very nice cars. Oh and the cell phones/electronics !

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 6, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Hey, wait a minute. they do work, they sell meth and make more profit then most companies do so they do have jobs. They have more money then you abd I do, they just don’t flaunt it. wonder if that wonderful man, Trump who is driving the country down day by day will lose any votes over this. after all they will vote cause they don’t have anything else to do all day

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 6, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      And we are still way better off than we were under Obama.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Trump is an ass.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    What about when you work full time have rent insurance car payment and Bill’s and maybe just want to eat after you pay for it all? If you dont have nice things people treat you like shit but on the other hand will scream at you for “living beyond your means”. If you have nice things and a food stamp card. Guess what guys? 40 hrs a week at $12 hr isnt shit not even with overtime. Not when the rent is over the top in Mason city. Not when alliant is over the top and always ready to reassure us they are gonna charge more. Not even a little bit. Guess what iowa thinks a single person working fulltime and doing their best should get for food stamps each month? $16. That’s it. You all live in this fantasy land where people are staying home all day just dry aging the out of your reach cuts of steak they buy with their thousands of dollars of benefits. Honestly single people should get more. We stayed responsible. Didnt have children we dont want or need or cant parent because of our basic lack of responsibility. We work we save we build we buy we pay for them. I say adults who do put in should get benefits and a layabout can fvck off and die. But then I’m not a dipshit so…. honestly yes I think we deserve our new car and our 4 dogs we work. I think we deserve to have nice shit and go on vacation once in a while. But itd be nice to have a full stomach ALL the time. Instead I live in Mason city iowa where I pay alot for very very little, oh and I could get shot for my trouble because since section 8 we have drivebys like every other week.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 7:26 am

    This is my opinion,there are people that need the help but there are a lot that are to lazy to work for anything because they think they are entitled.So if they have to work a little to get help I’m all for it.Sorry if your offend but like I said my opinion.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

      Some folks deal with crippling social anxiety and cant handle groups or pressure. Some of those people dont experience it all the time but have seconds or moments or hours or days where the very idea of being in a structured environment having to communicate with others is overwhelming and tortuous. Not everyone who doesnt work is lazy or entitled. Not everyone is looking to scheme or scam. Sometimes I think the problem is people think there are sides to this thing. Alot of times people become fanatical about their perceived teams values. Start saying dumb shit and making general statements about diverse groups of people who’s socioeconomics and psychiatric history are vast and varied and unknowable to an individual making comments on their little phone. I’m not being a dick but I hope you get that there are literally infinite variables in a given human beings life and you cant continue to group people together based on “they get food stamps so I hate em cuz I work 70 hrs a week at curries” people like that generally go out of their way to maintain things like a crappy job just so they can use it to feel superior to others in the delusional grandeur they replace the real world with. We get it man. You’re a superior person to an entire group of people made up if every type of person in any community. Good for you. Better get out there and RIP the snap cards out of the hands of people who you deem “able bodied” I know you’re not familiar cu you dont possess one but minds are very powerful and lots of people suffer everyday from a cornucopia of anxiety disorders. They aren’t mentally unstable or crazy or anything like that. They just dont function in groups the way the majority of people do. Go find something else to randomly and pointlessly hate. If you’re really worried about it you’d know that instead of monthly benefits we could just cut everyone on snap a $60 000 check that would equal what the program pays out each year. At that point I agree with natural selection. If you blow your 60 grand and have no food by september fvcking fish and hunt or starve I guess cuz that check covered utitlies food gas and everything else for twelve months.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 6, 2019 at 7:36 am

        Bull Shit! We will not pay to feed people who are capable of working. Just because you are a lazy, worthless P.O.S. does not entitle you to free food.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 6, 2019 at 7:43 pm

          Wow, you’re intelligent. Bet you where a bully in school huh? You dont suffer from it so it isnt real? If I had to bet on it I’d say with your lack of education, understanding and compassion you’re probably totally alone. Pretty clear you have a shitty attitude and happen to be a negative person. I can only hope no women has been so unfortunate as to hitch her wagon to your bright burning star. You seriously are so stupid and such an a*s that you deny the existence of anxiety disorders? I bet you liked to push kids into lockers in school too? You just seem like that low down self loathing worthless piece of shit type of human. I’m glad you parents didnt love you. You’re a loser.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 7:26 am

    You don’t work you don’t eat. What a novel concept.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 7:25 am

    There is great deal of welfare abuse, lets take care of our veterans and the senior citizens

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      Really there isn’t a lot of abuse. It is less than 3%.

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 7:25 am

    SNAP is meant to provide temporary help not enable you to be lazy and not try to find work. The waivers were needed when the job opportunities were lacking. But thanks to our President’s efforts there are many, many job opportunities and not just crappy jobs. Be productive adults!

  10. Pelosi Once Again Gets It Wrong Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 4:11 am

    Long overdue! All long term food stamps were for was to buy votes for Democrats. Those on long term food stamps will see their self-esteem improve when they go back to work. Healthy decision and good for the people!

  11. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2019 at 1:59 am

    does this mean all the shit-ka-go and deadtroits are gunna starve?? maybe they go back to get jobs that pay more then around here. probably not cause they have to be under 50 or be parents and have kids. most have a dozen or so!!!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 5, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Are you serious? While intyped this up those guys made more money than you and I combined in two weeks. You do know they sell meth? Cocaine? Heroin? Pills? Molly, ecstasy and probably some dirty pot if Mason city even consumes that 1% as much as all those other things. Dude they steal they scam they sell dope. Will they use this as an excuse to b*tch and complain and justify their behavior and maybe even escalate it? YOU CAN COUNT ON IT! you and I and those like us will always suffer first and more than the garbage humans. The world is changing and scum is the preferred class in the usa.

  12. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    It’s about damn time. If they are able to work they should have to work.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      Including amputees and PTSD-wracked homeless vets? Elderly with only Social Security, which is next on these f**kers lists? They must really want a special delivery of Molotov cocktails to their mansions, and at this rate, somebody is going to give it to them.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2019 at 7:44 pm

        Wow, Molotov cocktails!! If Mr. Retard would read the article, it says nothing about taking away all SNAP benefits, just those to the losers who use them as a way of life to exist without trying to better themselves. If you are not aware of how bad SNAP fraud actually is, then you are as dumb as your post shows.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2019 at 11:55 pm

        why are you so full of HATE!!!

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 5, 2019 at 12:55 am

        You need to learn to have someone explain the big words in the article to you. It said, “The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule promotes work for able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependents and does not apply to children and their parents, those over 50 years old including the elderly, those with a disability, or pregnant women.”
        NOTICE, it says, does not apply to those over 50 years old or those with disabilities. YES, it really says these things. Please learn to READ.

  13. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    Politicians are tricksters. Pond scum.