The Trump administration said on Wednesday that up to 982,000 children would lose automatic access to free meals at school under its plan to tighten SNAP eligibility rules. Brandon Lipps, deputy agriculture undersecretary, said the impact would be minimal because most of the children would qualify for a free or reduced-price meal if their parents filed the necessary paperwork.
The Trump administration proposal to tighten eligibility rules for food stamps “will push struggling families and children further into poverty, and we strongly urge USDA to rescind it immediately,” said the 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday.
Some 11.1 percent of U.S. households are food insecure, meaning they did not have enough food at times during 2018 due to a lack of money or other resources, said the USDA on Wednesday. It was the lowest food insecurity rate since 2007, just before the Great Recession drove food stamp enrollment and costs to record highs.
The Trump administration announced a rule on Monday that would allow federal officials to deny green cards and visa extensions to legal immigrants who have used certain public assistance programs, including food assistance.
Although a half-million children would lose access to free meals at school under a Trump administration proposal to restrict eligibility for food stamps, the USDA has not published that fact, said the chairman of the House Education Committee on Monday.
The Trump administration would oust 1 in every 12 SNAP recipients, a total of 3.1 million people, under a plan released today to restrict access to food stamps through so-called categorical eligibility. “Some states are taking advantage of a loophole” to load SNAP rolls, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Analysts agree that federal spending on low-income people during a recession has a large multiplier effect because the recipients are quick to spend the money, which ripples through the economy. Using the newly compiled Social Accounting Matrix, USDA economists Patrick Canning and Brian Stacy said the SNAP multiplier is a healthy 1.5.
Rob Undersander has been dining out on political outrage for more than a year with his story of how he purposely abused the food stamp system. On Thursday, House Republicans brought the wealthy Minnesotan to Congress to support their arguments for SNAP reform.
The long-delayed, $19.1-billion disaster bill is on its way to the White House for President Trump’s signature. The House passed the bill, which includes $3 billion in agricultural aid, 354-58.
The Obama administration’s increase in food stamp benefits during the Great Recession “had a positive average impact on county-level employment” in rural areas, says a USDA report.