A Trump administration proposal could cause millions of low-income people to lose access to food stamps in the long run.
The Trump administration has finalized a rule to limit food stamp benefits for single able-bodied adults who can't show that they work more than 20 hours a week, though legal challenges are possible.
"The administration suggests the change will restore the 'dignity of work, ' but there is nothing dignified about going to a job interview hungry, and nothing about the experience of hunger makes someone more employable", Hamler-Fugitt said. "With unemployment at record lows, with 7 million available job openings, work opportunities are abundant".
"Pay attention. This is what cruelty looks like", tweeted the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in response to the completed rule, which would be the first of a series of proposed food stamp cuts to take effect.
In short, the system was unfair and arbitrary, imposing time limits on some recipients but not others based on where they happened to live, failing to target the waivers toward truly needy areas, and allowing states to abuse the rules to draw in more federally funded benefits.
Discussing the new rule with reporters on a conference call, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue used typical right-wing logic: "Americans", he declared, "were generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a hard stretch".
But, Witry countered there are other reasons people need help getting food.
The new rule severely limits the ability of states to apply such waivers.
Under the new rule, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will raise the standard for when states are eligible for a waiver from work requirements by adjusting the unemployment rate needed to qualify. The new rule, he claimed, rested on the belief that the situation can be changed "so that [the now unemployed] can know the dignity of work".
The new rule makes several changes to existing SNAP rules.
Congressional Democrats were quick to condemn the administration's actions. They receive about $165 in food stamps a month.
The USDA added there are "multiple ways for individuals to engage and maintain their SNAP benefits, from working, to preparing for work, and volunteering", like states providing employment training programs.
A total of 1.3 million Ohioans are partly fed through $168 million in food stamps each month.
Craig Gundersen, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at the University of IL, told NPR in April that there is no evidence that receiving food stamps discourages work.
"It is a concerned and we could face issues individuals who are struggling to find a job, who can't get enough will face issues with accessing food", said Signe Anderson, nutrition director with the Tennessee Justice Center.
An analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities fleshed this out further, noting that the "draconian rule" adversely affects "the poorest of the poor": Americans whose average income "is just 18 percent of the poverty line".