More people to have to work for food stamps under Trump rule

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Trump has argued that many Americans receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, do not need it given the strong economy and low unemployment.

"States are seeking waivers for wide swaths of their population [s], and millions of people who could work are continuing to receive SNAP benefits", he told reporters. The third proposal would change how allowances for utility expenses are calculated, which would have a mixed impact. The limitations are usually three months within a 36-month period unless the adults meet certain work requirements.

All together, the proposed regulations would have decreased the number of people on food stamps by 3.7 million had they been implemented previous year, according to an Urban Institute report issued last month. More than 36 million Americans now receive SNAP benefits. Benefits would be cut roughly 688,000 recipients. Past year the administration announced it would allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. That effort has largely been stymied by a federal district court judge, who has halted it in three states.

The food stamp program, however, already requires non-disabled, working-age adults without dependents to have jobs.

There were 2.9 million of these recipients in 2018 and almost 74% of them were not employed, according to the agency. "States can waive those limits in areas where unemployment runs 20% above the national rate, which was 3.6% in October".

The new rule imposes stricter criteria states must meet in order to issue waivers.

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the rule will help move people "from welfare to work".

"Instead of combating food insecurity for millions, connecting workers to good-paying jobs or addressing income inequality, the administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability", Pelosi said in a statement.

It's expected to save $5.5 billion over five years, according to the agency.

But critics say the moves will hurt poor Americans.

But the new rules affect only the "poorest of the poor", said Ray Castro, health policy director for New Jersey Policy Perspective, a progressive research group.

"Denying them basic food and nutrition is not the route that a fair and compassionate administration of either party should take", he said in a statement.

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