Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is accusing the Trump administration of “pushing people more into poverty” by closing a food stamp loophole that could affect an estimated 3.1 million individuals already receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Trump’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking steps to close a loophole, which currently allows those who do not meet certain SNAP requirements to qualify for the entitlement if they are already receiving benefits via the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
As Breitbart News reported:
The agency is seeking to close this loophole by requiring TANF benefit recipients to go through an income background check to determine their eligibility for SNAP and exclude “broad-based categorical eligibility” that allows those with higher incomes to partake in SNAP benefits, according to USDA officials.
Tlaib believes this will push people “more into poverty.”
“While he distracts us with his hate-filled tweets, he is pushing people more into poverty, hurting working families & doesn’t [sic] even care that experts say it will hurt our country,” Tlaib wrote on Twitter Thursday.
While he distracts us with his hate-filled tweets, he is pushing people more into poverty, hurting working families & doesn't even care that experts say it will hurt our country. https://t.co/PJMgAd37gY
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) July 25, 2019
The proposal would also “make surviving harder,” according to fellow “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
“If this proposal is implemented it will hurt the most vulnerable amongst us,” she wrote. “It would take food off kitchen tables, it would make surviving harder for millions. This policy is cruel.”
If this proposal is implemented it will hurt the most vulnerable amongst us. It would take food off kitchen tables, it would make surviving harder for millions. This policy is cruel.https://t.co/RB8sYEgNN1
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 25, 2019
The move could affect 3.1 million Americans, but it could save U.S. taxpayers $2.5 billion per year.
“For too long, this loophole has been used to effectively bypass important eligibility guidelines. Too often, states have misused this flexibility without restraint,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a press release Tuesday.
Recently a millionaire living in Minnesota successfully enrolled in the program simply to highlight the waste of taxpayer money. Our fix restores confidence in eligibility for SNAP, is consistent from state-to-state, contains costs, and better aligns SNAP with other means-tested programs nationwide. This proposal will not only save money, but more importantly it preserves the integrity of the program while ensuring nutrition-assistance programs serves those most in need.
Recent USDA data shows that 5,829,890 have dropped their SNAP benefits since Trump took office. There are an estimated 36,302,402 currently enrolled in the program.