Trump's food stamp cuts face hard sell in Congress

Under the budget plan, $191 billion would be cut from the food stamp program over a decade, representing a 30 percent reduction. It would also give states more control of, and responsibility for, such spending.

That much bigger cut is proposed under legislation that the administration plans to bring to Congress.

The proposal aims to reduce spending by $3.6 trillion over the next 10 years in order to balance the budget by the end of that period.

USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue said just last week that he did not think the administration planned any changes to the SNAP program. Other estimates range between 1.6 and 2.1 percent, but no economist, Goldwein says, has arrived at figures close to the 3 percent the White House is projecting. The program serves about 42 million people. In 2008, there were 28 million recipients. "If you are on food stamps, we need you to go to work". The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down USA crude prices. Americans who make up to 130 percent of the poverty level, which is a monthly income of $2,600 for a family of four, are eligible for food stamps.

The plan cuts nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs and domestic agencies over the coming decade.

The Trump plan would roll back Obama-era increases to a children's health program for lower-income families who don't qualify for Medicaid, take an ax to the Environmental Protection Agency and climate change programs, cut $95 billion from highway trust fund transfers to state highway departments, and curb payments to disabled veterans of retirement age who are eligible for Social Security. But that requirement was largely waived during the recession.

Lucy Melcher of the anti-hunger group Share Our Strength says some people aren't able to find work in their areas, and have no access to job training. "Then, if successful, we could look at reducing funding (for benefits)", she said.

The proposal also includes more money for defense, border security and immigration enforcement, though it leaves Social Security and Medicare alone. It's an effort to stop unauthorized immigrants from collecting the credits.

"Absolutely not", Mulvaney said.

"If you ask 999 people out of a thousand, they'd tell you Social Security disability is not part of Social Security", Mulvaney said. A work requirement for those without dependents would be also phased in for the program, which now serves about 4.5 million California residents.

"The president's proposed cuts in domestic spending for fiscal year 2018 would put national health security at risk".

Discretionary Pentagon funding would increase $469 billion over the decade by eliminating a defense spending sequester.

Even Trump's own ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, suggested that the proposed cuts would not pass Congress. "The basic living standards that everyone needs - enough food, health care, and housing - are shredded, not strengthened".

Sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and worldwide programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling.

"Funding for LSC is a rock-solid investment in fundamental American values", the organization's president, James J. Sandman, wrote leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, who will have the final say on spending.

23 de mayo de 2017, 16:28Washington, May 23 (Prensa Latina) Democratic and Republican lawmakers harshly rebuffed the budget plan submitted to Congress by US President Donald Trump, considering it is proposing too rough cuts and unrealistic accounting. "So if I'm a good Senator or Representative, I've got to be real careful because those things could impact lots of voters".

  • Zachary Reyes