Rep Lamalfa Pockets His Farm Subsidies Votes To Cut Food Stamps
Rep. LaMalfa pockets his farm subsidies, votes to cut food stamps
Among them was Rep. Doug LaMalfa , who carried on about the need to retract just a little bit of the spending … to try to get this reform in place. He called the $20-billion cut a modest change.
As it happens, LaMalfas family farm had collected $5.1 million in government crop subsidies from 1995 through that year, according to the Environmental Working Group. At the time, 11% of the residents of Butte County, LaMalfas home county, were receiving SNAP benefits.
Efforts to cut back on food stamps merely underscore the vulnerability of programs that serve a narrow population, especially needy households with scarcely any political weight or voice. These programs are easily slashed by government officials and lawmakers who want to look like budget warriors.
We reported in October, when the administration first proposed the rule changes, that government officials and lawmakers who take a casual approach to the nutritional health of the American public are mortgaging the countrys future. As Hilary Hoynes of UC Berkeley has observed, the benefits of nutrition support can persist well into adulthood for those who have access to the program before birth and during early childhood. The benefits include improved achievement in school and lower rates of obesity, hypertension and heart disease in adulthood.
In other words, the food stamp policy is cruel, unnecessary, and penny-wise and just plain foolish.
Advocates Halted Changes Set To Go Into Effect Today That Would Have Left Nearly A Million Us Residents Hungry
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Nydia Dominguez is a 64-year-old grandmother of four in Newburgh, New York. Through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Dominguez receives $500 a month to feed herself and her young grandchildren. With SNAPcolloquially known as food stampsand a little thrift at the grocery store, she manages to provide meals for her family and even neighbors in need.
I budget everything, says Dominguez. I go through all the specials, and thats how I work it out.
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Trump Admin Says Millionaires Are Abusing Food Stamps So 31 Million People Lose Benefits
The Trump administration proposed a new rule Tuesday that could cut more than 3 million people off of food stamps, according to officials at The U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The rule change would tighten eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which the Trump administration says would reduce costs and limit abuse and fraud.
All but seven states currently allow families who are enrolled to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits, a welfare program similar to food stamps, to automatically enroll for SNAP benefits. The change would now require TANF-enrolled families to pass an audit of their income and assets before becoming eligible for SNAP.
The Trump administration predicts these audits would kick 3.1 million Americans off of food stamps and save about $2.5 billion each year.
“Some states are taking advantage of loopholes that allow people to receive the SNAP benefits who would otherwise not qualify and for which they are not entitled,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue on a press call this week.
On the call, Brandon Lipps, USDA acting deputy undersecretary, said that the Trump administration did not need congressional approval to limit the eligibility requirements.
“Unfortunately, automatic eligibility has expanded to allow even millionaires and others who simply receive a TANF-funded brochure to become eligible for SNAP when they clearly don’t need it,” said Lipps.
Snap Doesnt Discourage People From Working
Before we go any further, some background on SNAP. The program began as a pilot under President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as part of the war on poverty. Today, its the biggest and most important nutrition assistance program: About 45 million Americans living below the poverty line nearly half of them children rely on SNAP to purchase food.
Administered by the states, low-income people who meet the eligibility criteria get access to Electronic Benefits Transfer cards with money that they can use to purchase food. The lower your income, the more benefit you get .
When researchers have looked at SNAPs effects on food insecurity , theyve found consistently positive effects. In a 2012 paper, researchers found SNAP cut the prevalence of food insecurity by at least 13 percentage points. In another 2013 study, researchers found exactly the same reduction in food insecurity when they studied variation in state-level policies that affect access to SNAP. Other studies have found the same association between SNAP participation and a decreased risk of food insecurity, albeit by varying amounts.
Yet one oft-repeated Republican Party line is that benefits like SNAP discourage people from working. But according to the researchers who study SNAP, theres no good evidence that it acts as a work disincentive.
Trump Administration Proposals Could Cause Millions To Lose Food Stamps
Three proposed rule changes by the Trump administration could cause millions of poor people to lose access to food stamps and decrease the size of the benefit for millions more, a new study has found.
Over the past year, the Department of Agriculture proposed three changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP or food stamps. The new rules create stricter work requirements for program eligibility, cap deductions for utility allowances and reform the way 40 states automatically enroll families into SNAP when they receive other forms of federal aid.
A study by the Urban Institute released this week examined the three rules in combination for the first time and found that 3.7 million fewer people would receive SNAP in an average month, 2.2 million households would see their average monthly benefits drop by $127, more than 3 million others would see an average drop of $37 per month, and 982,000 students would lose access to free or reduced lunches.
What we found is that overall the three proposed changes would reduce the number of households participating in SNAP by about 11 percent if this was implemented in 2018,” said Laura Wheaton, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who conducted the study. “Its about a 9.4 percent reduction in the number of people participating and about an 8 percent reduction in overall benefits.
The USDA, meanwhile, estimates that the changes would reduce the SNAP budget by about $4.2 billion.
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More Than Half A Million Snap Recipients Are On The Edge Of Losing Access To The Crucial Food Safety Netjust As They Need It Most
James Murphy has spent a lot of time looking for a jobin retail, manufacturing, anythingbut always ends up moving from gig to gig, unable to find something steady. He cant afford permanent housing, so for months, he has slept outside or at a Brooklyn mens shelter. SNAP is my livelihood until I find a job, he said, adding that hes worked since he was 15 years old. I grew up with food stamps. Now, Im getting scared.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is part of the federal food safety net that helps low-income people and families buy groceries every month. Its also a popular target when it comes to federal cuts: Last year, President Trump announced plans to tighten its eligibility requirements. Currently, able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 without dependentsa demographic called ABAWDs by the U.S. Department of Agricultureare restricted to three months of SNAP benefits in a 36-month period, unless they work at least 80 hours a month. But states have long been able to obtain waivers, and in its more than two decades on the books, every state except Delaware has sought one. But the Trump administration rule, slated to go into effect next month, will make it harder to do that, with significant implications for some of the countrys most needy SNAP recipients. In all, the rule will eliminate access for at least 700,000 Americans, cutting around 6.2 billion meals in the next decade.
Hundreds Of Thousands Are Losing Access To Food Stamps
The Agriculture Department gave its final approval to the first of three rules that are ultimately expected to cut more than three million from the food stamp rolls.
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By Lola Fadulu
WASHINGTON The Trump administration, brushing aside tens of thousands of protest letters, gave final approval on Wednesday to a rule that will remove nearly 700,000 people from the federal food-stamp program by strictly enforcing federal work requirements.
The rule, which was proposed by the Agriculture Department in February, would press states to carry out work requirements for able-bodied adults without children that governors have routinely been allowed to waive, especially for areas in economic distress. The economy has improved under the Trump administration, the department argued, and assistance to unemployed, able-bodied adults was no longer necessary in a strong job market.
The change is expected to shave nearly $5.5 billion from food stamp spending over five years.
Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream, said Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary. We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand.
Anti-poverty groups said the administrations focus on the unemployment rate was misleading.
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Trump Administration Wants To Cut Food Stamps To Thousands Of Seniors Lawmakers Say
More than 8,000 poor senior citizens in Illinois and other states face a “catastrophic” outcome under a Trump administration change that would cut food-stamp benefits on January 1, according to lawmakers.
Senator Dick Durbin and other Illinois lawmakers are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend the benefit, which is for poor seniors who live in one of 154 supportive living facilities across the state, according to a to USDA secretary Sonny Perdue.
The USDA said the change would reflect the enforcement of the law after the agency looked into the program, according to an agency spokesman. Supportive living facilities had been given “mixed information” about their eligibility from federal agencies about their eligibility for food stamps, a recent USDA report found. But the agency determined they don’t qualify, the report concluded.
The 20-year-old program helps low-income seniors by allowing their facilities to pool food-stamp benefits and purchase food on their behalf, with the lawmakers noting that this helps disabled and elderly residents who otherwise couldn’t get to grocery stores. Facilities in states ranging from Alabama to Tennessee would also be affected, although the majority of the supportive living facilities are located in Illinois.
Other Snap Cuts Would Affect Broad Swath Of Households
The Administrations budget proposes another roughly $60 billion in SNAP cuts over ten years. They include:
* The sum of the savings for individual proposals exceeds the total projected savings because some households are affected by multiple provisions. This line captures the difference between the two figures, which we believe represents interactions between proposals and the indirect effect of proposed policy changes in other areas of the budget on SNAP.
Source: The estimates of the size of the cuts throughout this paper are based on the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget of the U.S. Government, and the Explanatory Notes that USDA provides to Congress, .
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Trump Administration Proposes Yet Another Food Benefit Cut
The proposed regulation, if finalized, would take away some state flexibility in setting benefit levels under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The draft rule is the Trump administrations third proposed cut to SNAP benefits in the past year, demonstrating Trumps commitment to a conventional Republican policy goal: kicking people off welfare.
None of the proposals have taken effect yet. The previous two, which were modeled on legislation that Republicans couldnt get through Congress last year, would shrink program enrollment by almost 4 million. All three proposals are still pending in a formal regulatory process.
More than 36 million Americans were enrolled in SNAP as of June, according to the latest data. Benefits average about $125 per month per person and can be used for food items at grocery stores and farmers markets.
The administrations latest proposal to cut SNAP would leave millions of people, including struggling families, seniors, and people with disabilities, with less help putting food on the table, Stacy Dean, a SNAP policy expert with the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in a statement.
Americans have every right to expect a program like SNAP to operate fairly and consistently across the country, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a press release.
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These Changes Affect The Most Vulnerable Especially During A Slowing Economy
Although the government estimates that 700,000 people will be affected by the rule change, Lauren Bauer, a fellow with the Brookings Institution, reports that the numbers would more realistically be 1.3 million to 1.5 million even before the Covid-19 outbreak, according to BuzzFeed News. And unfortunately, the number of those who need food assistance will continue to grow during a slowing economy.
A growing concern is that those who work in low-wage service industries, particularly bars and restaurants, wont be able to take on enough shifts, or may even get laid off, as people practice social distancing and avoid going out to eat and drink in crowded areas. Yet without a job, theyll be unable to stay eligible for SNAP, even though theyll need the assistance the most during their unemployment, Moynihan pointed out.
The work requirement could also force employees to continue going to their public-facing jobs, even when they are sick, because they cannot afford to stay at home when they have little job stability, he added. This could further spread the disease, contrary to what the government wants.
Overall, Moynihan described the governments plan to move ahead with the rule changes as a poor choice driven by conservative aides who have long opposed government assistance programs.
Whether you are sick or your job says you cant come to work, the good cause will eliminate need for work requirements under this rule, Perdue said in a statement to the publication.
Federal Judge Strikes Down Trump Rule To Cut Food Benefits Amid Pandemic
The judge, in a court filing, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been icily silent about how many people would have been denied the benefits with the changes.
The pandemic has left millions of U.S. residents without jobs, sending thousands into lines at food banks.
In 2019, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, provided stamps giving free food to about 36 million Americans.
The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans, chief judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. said in the ruling.
The USDA announced the rule in December and President Donald Trump said at the time many Americans receiving food stamps do not need them given the strong economy and low unemployment.
A coalition of attorneys general from several states, the city of New York and the District of Columbia challenged the USDA rule in January.
In March, the judge had granted a preliminary injunction and a stay on part of the rule, which was scheduled to take effect on April 1, noting food needs during the pandemic.
USDA filed a notice in May appealing the order.
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