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Trump administration cuts food stamps for at least 700,000 Americans
March 10, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
By LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE
The Trump Administration has finalized implementation of new work requirement rules that would cut food stamp benefits for 700,000 Americans. The average food stamp payout is $36 per month. Though the Trump Administration estimates that fewer than 700,000 people will be impacted by their policy changes, the Urban Institute estimates that the new rule changes will cause 3.7 million poor people to lose food stamps.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Brandon Lipps, the deputy undersecretary for the USDA’s Food Nutrition and Consumer Services, spoke with reporters for less than 20 minutes regarding the changes. The rule changes will take effect on April 1.
The work requirement rule change will cause hundreds of thousands of people to lose access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
There are over 40 million people in the U.S. living in poverty – one of every seven Americans and 12% of the total population. In the U.S., 27% of African Americans live in poverty and 46% of African American children under age six live in poverty, compared to 14.5% of White children.
“We’re taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program,” Perdue stated. “Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That’s the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life.”
Rev. Dr. William Barber wrote the following in reference to an exchange at a Dec. 4 impeachment hearing and food stamp cuts.
“Trump has called people liars and maniacs, caged children, and cut food stamps, and tried to take away health insurance and let people die. But Republicans are outraged that a law professor used his son’s name in an analogy?” he expressed.
Barber has been focused on a new age “poor people’s campaign” mirrored on the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s.
“This is cruel and disgraceful. Donald Trump will happily give millions of dollars in tax breaks to his billionaire buddies – but he’s making it harder for struggling families to be able to eat. I’ll reverse this shameful policy,” wrote 2020 presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
The rule change would limit states and force them to restrict food stamp use to areas that have a 6% unemployment rate or higher. The national unemployment rate in October was 3.6%.
Income inequality and cuts to poverty programs are likely to be an issue in the 2020 campaign.