With both houses of Congress preparing to merge their two versions of the farm bill, President Donald Trump announced his hope on Thursday that lawmakers will reach an agreement that kicks one million Americans off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.
When the House and Senate meet on the very important Farm Bill – we love our farmers - hopefully they will be able to leave the WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOD STAMPS PROVISION that the House approved. Senate should go to 51 votes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
Critics on social media shared their distress—but not surprise—at Trump's enthusiasm for making it more difficult for lower-income families to receive help buying groceries.
The President has not hurt enough families this summer by separating families physically. He wants to now separate more families from food they need..... https://t.co/R52annmdyL
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) August 2, 2018
Trump screwed over farmers and is now trying to leverage their pain and suffering to cut food stamps for America's poorest citizens. This guy is the definition of Satan. https://t.co/B3N0SR1xY1
— James Kosur (@JamesKosur) August 2, 2018
In the House's version of the farm bill, adults between the ages of 19 and 59 would be required to either work or be enrolled in a job training program 20 hours per week to qualify for assistance.
The Senate did not include work requirements in its bill. Trump's declaration that the Senate "should go to 51 votes" signaled the White House's hope that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will abandon the filibuster, making it easier for Republicans to pass a farm bill that would cut down on food stamp recipients.
Work requirements for SNAP benefits are expected to reduce government spending by $20 billion over the next decade. Trump is pushing Congress to pass the measure seven months after passing the GOP tax law, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects will add nearly $2 trillion to the federal deficit within 10 years.
The Republican Party is currently working to expand on its tax legislation, with the Trump administration willing to bypass Congress in order to cut taxes on capital gains, according to the New York Times.
As MoveOn.org's Washington director Ben Wikler noted, Republicans' rush to cut federal spending for struggling families has not been extended to benefits for the wealthiest Americans.
So weird the Trump administration isn’t putting work requirements on its capital gains tax cut
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) July 31, 2018