Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday claimed that her family “might’ve just starved” had the Trump administration’s revamped food stamp work requirements taken effect years ago.
Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday reacted to the formalization of the Trump administration’s food stamp work requirements, which will take effect April 1 of next year.
“We’re taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, according to NBC News.
Perdue added, echoing the words of Ronald Reagan:
Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That’s the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life.
Ocasio-Cortez took issue with the requirements and claimed that her family “might’ve just starved,” had they been in effect years ago.
“My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48. I was a student. If this happened then, we might’ve just starved,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Now, many people will,” she added, accusing the GOP of working “overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most”:
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, responded to the freshman lawmaker’s tweet, noting that the work requirements will only apply to able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have dependents:
She rebuked the think tank’s point, vaguely asserting that the rule “ignores the reality of American life” and implied that those who disagree with her position have not “dealt with the actual lived experience”:
The current rules require childless, able-bodied adults on the program to “work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps, but states have been able to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment,” according to NBC News.
The new rule will add restrictions to those waivers, only allowing them if the unemployment rate in the area is over six percent.
The USDA estimates that 688,000 will lose access to food stamps under the new rule, and it will save taxpayers $5.5 billion over the next five years.
The news coincides with Friday’s jobs report, which indicated that the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs for the month. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, “matching the lowest level in 50 years,” as Breitbart News reported.