The Trump administration wants to impose a work requirement on able-bodied adults who receive food stamps and force states to pick up some of the costs as part of a wider plan to slash spending by $3.6 trillion over the next decade.
Budget director Mick Mulvaney said that once states have “a little skin in the game,” they will be more inclined to root out abuses and waste in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Enrollments haven’t decreased much since the recession despite a low 4.5 percent unemployment rate.
The program cost about $33 billion in 2007 with 26 million enrollees. By 2013, costs peaked at nearly $80 billion with 47.6 million participants.
But despite the economic recovery, there were still about 44 million people getting benefits in 2016 at a cost of $71 billion.
On average, each enrollee gets $125.50 a month.
“That raises a very valid question: Are there folks on SNAP who shouldn’t be?” Mulvaney said.
Overall, the Trump administration wants to squeeze out about $193 billion from SNAP over 10 years.
To do so, President Trump wants able-bodied adults without dependent children to work for their food stamps, Mulvaney said.
In addition, states will have to start picking up some of the costs.
Any cuts to foods stamps are sure to meet opposition, especially from Democrats.
“The latest Trump budget proposal is cause for concern, especially when it comes to nutritional programs,” said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn). “We’ll simply have to fight harder to protect our most vulnerable neighbors. And, that’s exactly what we’ll do.”
The Trump administration will officially unveil its budget request Tuesday. The plan would cut spending by $3.6 trillion, and it projects a balanced budget in 10 years. To get there, the administration is assuming a 3 percent growth rate.
Trump’s budget also cuts $610 billion from Medicaid; $143 billion from student loans; $72 billion by making reforms to Social Security Disability payments; and $63 billion by reducing federal employee retirement benefits.
“It is a taxpayer-first budget,” Mulvaney said. “Yes, we are concerned on the impact of government spending on the folks who receive benefits, but we are also concerned [about] the folks who pay the taxes in the first place. We think that balance has been lost.”
In Trend Today Source