rump administration pursues rule that would remove 3.1 mln people from food stamps Reuters via Yahoo ^ | July 22, 2019 | Tom Polansek
The Trump administration on Tuesday will propose a rule to tighten food stamp restrictions that would cut about 3.1 million people from the program, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials said.
Currently, 43 U.S. states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the USDA.
But the agency wants to require people who receive TANF benefits to pass a review of their income and assets to determine whether they are eligible for free food from SNAP, officials said.
If enacted, the rule would save the federal government about $2.5 billion a year by removing people from SNAP, according to the USDA.
U.S. President Donald Trump has argued that many Americans now using SNAP do not need it given the strong economy and low unemployment, and should be removed as a way to save taxpayers as much as $15 billion.
"Some states are taking advantage of loopholes that allow people to receive the SNAP benefits who would otherwise not qualify and for which they are not entitled," USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on a conference call on Monday.
SNAP provides free food to some 40 million Americans, or about 12% of the total U.S. population.