The Trump administration’s proposal for stricter enforcement of the 90-day limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults would most often hit people living alone in deep poverty, said an analysis by Mathematica Policy Research. More than 1 million people would be affected by the regulation, the report said.
The White House proposed a $19 billion cut in food stamps for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, achieving the 25 percent reduction in SNAP mainly by putting forward, once again, "America's Harvest Box" of canned and nonperishable food. The administration also proposed on Monday to apply SNAP work requirements more broadly and to include older Americans in them. Both ideas were rejected last year by lawmakers.
Questioned for the second day in a row on Capitol Hill, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he has the authority to tighten food stamp rules for able-bodied adults even if lawmakers don’t like it. Senate Democrats pushed back, urging Perdue on Thursday to withdraw the proposal.
The Trump administration will shift able-bodied Americans into better-paying jobs through stricter enforcement of a 90-day limit on food stamps, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told skeptical House lawmakers on Wednesday. Democrats threatened litigation to stop the proposal, which could end SNAP benefits to more than 700,000 people.
A new bill, proposed by the vice-chair of the House Agriculture Committee and backed by one of the largest anti-hunger groups in the nation, would raise food stamp benefits by an estimated 30 percent. Rep. Alma Adams, the lead sponsor of the "closing the meal gap" legislation, said on Tuesday that a companion bill would be filed by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a presidential aspirant.
The Agriculture Department faces large spending cuts, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday while a White House official said President Trump will ask for one "one of the largest spending reductions in history" in the upcoming fiscal 2020 budget. Perdue told reporters that he encouraged the administration to submit a package "within the realm of negotiation," considering Congress rejected outright Trump's previous budgets.
In a bookend to its proposal to toughen the time limit on food stamps for able-bodied adults, the USDA is working on a regulation to reduce the number of people who are automatically considered for SNAP benefits because they receive welfare assistance.
Two outspoken Kansans scored the trade war with China as needlessly disruptive for the farm sector on Tuesday, with Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts comparing it to the five-week partial government shutdown and economist Barry Flinchbaugh urging Congress to curtail President Trump's power to impose tariffs in the name of national security. In a pause in the trade war, China bought 2.6 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans, the third-largest soy sale in USDA records.
The Trump administration used a legislative loophole to issue February SNAP benefits in advance during the partial federal shutdown. With USDA funding set to expire at the middle of this month, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday that early release of March benefits may be necessary too.