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Trump Eyes Crackdown That Will Slash Food Stamp Benefits for 3 Million People

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The Trump administration has its sights locked on a loophole that has allowed some 3.1 million “not qualified” Americans into the federal food stamp program, it says.

According to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, state governments have “misused” the current setup, which allows welfare recipients to be automatically enrolled in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program no matter whether they would otherwise qualify.

According to Reuters, 43 states currently allow automatic enrollment in SNAP for residents who already receive benefits from other welfare programs.

“We are changing the rules, preventing abuse of a critical safety net system, so those who need food assistance the most are the only ones who receive it,” Perdue said.

Brandon Lipps, a USDA acting deputy undersecretary, highlighted just how extreme the abuse can be, according to CNBC.

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“Unfortunately, automatic eligibility has expanded to allow even millionaires and others who simply receive a TANF-funded [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] brochure to become eligible for SNAP when they clearly don’t need it,” he said.

The new rule will see the USDA reviewing the income and other assets of TANF recipients to determine whether they are eligible for SNAP benefits.

The USDA expects the rule will eliminate food stamp benefits for roughly 3 million people, saving taxpayers $2.5 billion per year.

SNAP provided food stamps for approximately 40 million Americans in 2018, meaning the vast majority of people in the program will not be impacted by the new rule.

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The program paid out over $60 billion in benefits in 2018, with the average recipient getting $126.96 per month.

Democrats are sticking to the script and complaining about the Trump administration’s new push.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan called the move an attempt to “circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis,” according to The Washington Post.

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, apparently wildly misunderstanding the political landscape, said in a tweet, “The president does not want you to know about this.”

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On the contrary, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Trump proudly tweet about this or brag about it at his next rally. Removing unqualified people from entitlement programs while saving billions of dollars is something almost all Republicans will support.

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