Freshman congresswoman and outspoken Trump administration critic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offered a stern rebuke of the upcoming rule change to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise referred to as “food stamps” by many.
As previously reported by Red Blue Divide, in a move that is estimated to save $5.5 billion over the next five years beginning in April 2020, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition and Consumer Services is going to enforce more stringent work restrictions tied to the access of federal aid.
The new proposal specifically targets cites and counties with unemployment rates lower than 6%. Currently, dependent-free, able-bodied adults between 18 and 49 may receive up to three months of food stamp benefits within 36 months. However, this limitation is often waived in areas with high unemployment. Now, waivers can only be issued in states where the unemployment rate exceeds 6%. In such instances, waivers require gubernatorial support and will expire after 12 months.
Department Secretary Brandon Lipps described the plan as “from welfare to work,” explaining that, ‘We want to encourage people by giving them a helping hand, but not an infinitely giving hand.’
“Squad” member AOC clearly sees things differently.
Taking to Twitter, the New York congresswoman expressed her outrage at the new policy, slamming “shameful” Republicans for valuing the desires of the wealthy over the needs of the poor.
My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48.
I was a student. If this happened then, we might’ve just starved.
Now, many people will.
It’s shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most. https://t.co/WOrYvhfPj4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 5, 2019
As reported in The Daily Mail, SNAP currently aids about 35 million Americans, and it is perceived that the new work restrictions will impact roughly 700,000 Americans.
Opponents of the change, such as Ohio Democrat Marcia Fudge, claims Trump and his team are simply “weaponizing” the USDA as a part of their “general war on working families.”
Written by Red Blue Divide’s editorial staff.