Trump orders review of food stamps for work requirements
April 18, 2018
President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of all social welfare programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.
The order says federal agencies should "review any public assistance programs of their respective agencies that do not currently require work for receipt of benefits or services, and determine whether enforcement of a work requirement would be consistent with federal law and the principles outlined in this order."
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, "I commend President Trump today for his leadership on moving Americans back to work. At the Department of Agriculture, we are responsible for administering programs which help people access nutritious food for themselves and their families, but we also know that long-term government dependency has never been a part of the American dream. Providing people with the training and skills they need to find gainful employment will help place them on the path to self-sufficiency and restore the dignity of work. It's the right thing to do for our people, just as it's the right thing to do for American taxpayers."
Perdue said that in 2016 "over 16 million able-bodied adults were enrolled in SNAP. We can and we must do a better job of moving these individuals to self-sufficiency."
But Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said, "Under the guise of 'reviewing welfare programs,' the Trump administration is once again targeting America's most vulnerable people. Despite the rhetoric from President Trump and congressional Republicans saying that they want to tackle poverty, the truth is that imposing additional requirements on our social safety net programs only serves to cut off lifelines that help millions of people from going hungry, get access to affordable housing, and receive medical care.
"President Trump and congressional Republicans are searching for a solution to a problem that does not exist — going out of their way to humiliate and stigmatize recipients of federal programs," DeLauro continued. "For instance, despite their broad reach, it is widely recognized that federal nutrition programs, like the food stamp program, have the lowest instances of fraud compared to all government programs. On top of that, USDA's most recent data shows that work rates for SNAP recipients have been increasing year after year."
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She added, "The American people would be far better served if the president and congressional Republicans joined Democrats, who are focused on economic policies that create jobs and raise wages, instead of blaming people for needing a helping hand."