In a newly released budget proposal, the Trump administration is addressing welfare. Some are critical that the proposal “would cut roughly 3 million people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the latest effort to restrict access to food stamps” ABC News reports.
The proposal came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after Congress “failed to come to an agreement on the issue in the 2018 farm bill” and will limit families on food stamps by not automatically enrolling individuals who are also receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF.
Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps says the proposed rule will result in “saving an average of $2.5 billion per year.” While some Democrats such as Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, are immediately critical of the proposal saying it “would take food away from families.”
Despite criticism, the Department of Agriculture said in a press release today that the move closes a “loophole” which will provide benefits “with consistency and integrity to those most in need…For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint.”
The controversy of this proposal seems to lie in the eye of the beholder. While some view the measure as simple as getting food to those in need, others point to how easy it has been to abuse the system, spending millions of taxpayer dollars for unnecessary purposes.
The news release even cited a wealthy Minnesota man who enrolled in SNAP benefits just to prove how fragile the system is. “The proposed rule would fix a loophole that has expanded SNAP recipients in some states to include people who receive assistance when they clearly don’t need it.
In fact, the depth of this specific flexibility has become so egregious that a millionaire living in Minnesota successfully enrolled in the program simply to highlight the waste of taxpayer money.”