Trump: Not enough votes for SNAP work requirements
President Donald Trump said Saturday that there are not enough votes in the Senate to pass a farm bill that includes stiffer work requirements for beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
In an interview with Agri-Pulse, Trump said, “We may have to do that for another year, if you want to know the truth,” in response to a question about whether he would veto a farm bill without stronger work requirements.
“We don’t have enough votes. In the Senate, we need 10 votes essentially. We need 10 votes. The Democrats won’t give us the votes that we need.”
But Trump also said, “We have a farm bill that I can do. I’m holding out … I’d love to get work requirements if we could … If we don’t get more people in, I don’t know, I can’t tell you that we’re going to do work requirements.”
Those statements left confusion about whether Trump was encouraging Congress to wait to finish the farm bill until next year or saying the farm bill might have to be finished without the work requirements.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today declined to discuss what Trump meant, asking if he was really being asked to explain what the president said.
Perdue went on to say, however, that his concern is that states are abusing their rights under current law to apply for waivers from work requirements for SNAP beneficiaries. Perdue said he wants to find a way to enforce the law so that people who are able to work are able to find work or training opportunities.
Asked how he was advising congressional agriculture leaders on the farm bill, Perdue said he is giving technical advice, not legislative advice.
“It’s not my duty to tell Congress how to do their job,” Perdue said.