Trump Wants To Cut Food Stamps For 3.1 Million People

by Madison Vanderberg
Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty

Trump wants to cut food stamps in new ruling that will see 3 million people lose SNAP benefits

The Trump administration is pursuing a rule that would make it harder for people who need food stamps to get them, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), around 3.1 million people will lose their food stamp benefits if his plan goes into effect.

Food Stamps — or as it’s actually known, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka SNAP — feeds 40 million Americans, which is about 12% of the total U.S. population. In its current state, if you receive benefits from any federal or assistance program — aka Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF — you would automatically be enrolled in SNAP.

Now, Trump wants to end that automation and make TANF benefit recipients submit their income to determine whether they are actually eligible for free food from SNAP. Hypothetically, a family could be receiving a TANF benefit like wage supplements for working-poor families, but Trump is like, “Well, I dunno, you don’t make enough money to live, but you might be able to afford food,” so now this family will go without food while they undergo the income testing process and hope they are eligible for SNAP.

Per CNBC, Trump thinks that because the economy is doing so well and unemployment rates have dropped, that people no longer need SNAP benefits. The new ruling will also save the government $2.5 billion annually.

Brandon Lipps, a USDA acting deputy undersecretary, claims that SNAP — in its current form — is too lenient and that “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.”

Millionaires? Because Jeff Bezos and pals are swiping that EBT card at Whole Foods. Sure.

Those who oppose the new ruling — like the Center For American Progress — told Reuters that Trump’s new proposal would harm the country’s poorest “by forcing states to take food assistance away from those with even modest savings of a few thousand dollars.

Rebecca Vallas, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, shared an enlightening Twitter thread on hypothetical scenarios that could play out when Trump’s new ruling goes into effect.

Ironically, the people who most benefit from the SNAP program are often the very same people who voted Trump into office. In 2016, national advocacy group Hunger Free America shared data that proved that of the 10 states who receive the most SNAP benefits, eight of those states went to Trump in the 2016 election.

“Disproving the stereotype that SNAP recipients are all in ‘inner cities’ or blue states, this analysis demonstrates that large numbers of Americans who rely upon federal nutrition assistance live in rural, mostly-white, areas. Plainly put, many SNAP recipients are President-elect Trump’s people,” Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America said in a statement at the time.

This new proposition follows in the footsteps of Trump’s recent abortion gag rule, which will make it harder for anyone to find information about or even obtain an abortion. This new food stamp issue is also making it harder for hungry people to get the assistance they need. Obviously, we’re seeing a trend. November 2020 can’t come soon enough.