By MAXINE WATERS
U.S. House of Representatives
WASHINGTON – Trump’s latest rule callously slashes $5.5 billion from the Food Stamp program and imposes onerous work requirements on low-income Americans, many of whom live in areas where jobs are scarce. This rule comes in addition to two other proposed rules that would slash Food Stamp benefits for millions of hungry people in America, including children, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and college students. According to an Urban Institute report, Trump’s Food Stamp cuts will take benefits away from a total of 3.7 million people and cut benefits by a total of $4.2 billion per year.
Trump’s heartless plans to cut the Food Stamp program will hurt some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in America. They will take food away from veterans who have served our country with honor and courage and who are trying to live a meager existence in their retirement years. They will cause about one half million children to lose their eligibility for free school meals, leaving them hungry in their classrooms while they are trying to learn. They will hurt students who are trying to break the cycle of generational poverty, earn their college degrees, and prepare themselves for a better quality of life. They will hurt vulnerable Americans in small towns and rural communities who are already suffering because of Trump’s trade war and the resulting retaliatory tariffs against American agricultural products.
Trump’s heartless cuts to this critical anti-poverty program are in addition to his callous attempts to slash low-income housing. The Trump budget request cuts HUD funding by 18 percent. It eliminates new funding for programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which the National Low Income Housing Coalition and other advocates fought so hard to create. His administration has also put forth an outrageous plan that would triple rents for the lowest income households in the country and put 1.7 million Americans at risk of eviction and homelessness.
Trump’s shameful cuts to housing programs would worsen the already difficult conditions that our most vulnerable populations face. The lack of affordable housing units is perhaps the greatest challenge to successfully lifting households out of poverty. NLIHC’s research shows a staggering statistic: we have a deficit of over 7 million affordable and available rental units in this country for extremely low-income households. Meanwhile, we continue to struggle to preserve what little affordable housing we do have.
While Donald Trump takes food from the mouths of children, he had no reservations about signing into law the GOP tax scam that’s a giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest one percent of Americans. Furthermore, he continues to enrich himself at the taxpayers’ expense. He charged the Secret Service more than $200,000 in taxpayer money for expenses at the Trump Hotel between September of 2016 and February of 2018 and his golfing excursions have cost American taxpayers more than $102 million in travel and security expenses as of May of this year.
It is abundantly clear that Donald Trump does not care about anyone except himself and his personal enrichment. Yet, his attempts to starve the poor and disregard the homeless could be the cruelest of all his abuses.
I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to protect poor and vulnerable Americans across the United States from Trump’s heartless policies, and I will never stop fighting for the least of these.”
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, CA-43, is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services. In her fifteenth term or representing a large part of South Los Angeles and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the U.S. House of Representatives, is considered by many to be one of the most powerful women in American politics today.