Even after the coronavirus outbreak ravaging the nation and the demands of Democrats, President Donald Trump has told them no again.
The president has proclaimed that he will not change his plans to remove millions of people off of the food stamp program, Buzzfeed News reported.
The plan is to enact strict work requirements for those who are able to work and continue to receive food stamps.
This would sound like common sense to the majority of people, but to Democrats who love having people dependent on the government, it is a nightmare scenario.
People could soon be forced to work public-facing jobs when they should stay home or else risk losing access to the assistance they get to buy food.
The Department of Agriculture confirmed this week it is sticking to its timeline to tighten work requirements starting April 1. People without a disability or children must work 20 hours per week to qualify for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps.
The White House projects 700,000 people would lose SNAP eligibility. Lauren Bauer, a fellow with the Brookings Institution, filed access to information requests for figures from all 50 states and projected the number of people losing assistance would be much higher, at 1.3 million to 1.5 million.
But those projections all came out before the novel coronavirus swept across the United States, causing a wave of self-quarantines and threatening economic downturn.
“That number is going to be much, much higher,” Bauer said. “It’s going to cause harm both to the people who are eligible for SNAP, but it’s also going to cause harm for the economy.”
A concern of the left is that people who work in the service industry or musicians are going to have their hours cut because customers are going to stay home rather than go out to restaurants and events.
If those workers get below 80 hours of work in a month, they can be removed from the SNAP program.
Democrats fear that those works could go to work they feel under the weather because they are afraid of being taken off of SNAP.
“Whether you are sick, or your job says you can’t come to work, the good cause will eliminate need for work requirements under this rule,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said to Buzzfeed News.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities senior policy analyst Ed Bolen said that the decision by the administration is “shortsighted.
“It just seems shortsighted and counterproductive to condition SNAP benefits on making those kinds of decisions during a public health emergency,” Bolen said.
Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee begged Perdue to wait on the rule change but the administration is not changing its mind.
“Really it’s a cruel rule, taking food out of the mouths of hungry individuals,” the representative said. “Why can’t we just postpone or delay this at least until at least this critical moment is over?”