The Trump regime's new SNAP program rules will kick over three million Americans off the program, mostly in blue states. Surprise!
The proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture comes after Congress initially failed to come to an agreement on the issue in the 2018 farm bill, and looks to limit access to SNAP benefits by not automatically enrolling individuals who are also receiving minimal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF.
On call with reporters, Acting Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps said the proposed rule would result in saving an average of $2.5 billion per year.
The department in a press release on Tuesday said the move closes a “loophole,” and said that the program should provide benefits “with consistency and integrity to those most in need.”
“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 the news release.
(MORE: Trump's new budget resurrects controversial 'harvest box' proposal for food stamps as part of broader welfare reform )
“The American people expect their government to be fair, efficient, and to have integrity – just as they do in their own homes, businesses, and communities. That is why 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,” he said.
The top Democrat on Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, called the move "yet another attempt by this Administration to circumvent Congress and make harmful changes to nutrition assistance that have been repeatedly rejected on a bipartisan basis."
"This rule would take food away from families, prevent children from getting school meals, and make it harder for states to administer food assistance," the Michigan Democrat said in a statement. "The Administration should stop undermining the intent of Congress and instead focus on implementing the bipartisan Farm Bill that the President signed into law.”
And which states automatically enroll families who are receiving TANF benefits in SNAP? 40 states, plus DC do, but the largest numbers in that category are in California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts, plus DC.
Even worse, the kids who get kicked off of SNAP over this -- and there will be millions of kids, mind you -- will lose their free or reduced price school lunch benefit. There was no appetite, even among Republicans in Congress, to make these kinds of arbitrary and draconian cuts to SNAP in the Farm Bill last year.
So Trump is doing it anyway.
The cruelty is the point.