Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest

By Tracy Jan, Caitlin Dewey and Jeff Stein

WASHINGTON, DC : (L) Anthony, 15, waits for his mother Raphael Richmond who is loading up on meat at the discount grocery store where they do a big once-a-month shopping trip on the day that their monthly SNAP account is re-funded. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

President Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require Medicaid and food stamp recipients to work.

The Trump budget proposal would gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, by $17.2 billion in 2019 — equivalent to 22 percent of the program’s total cost last year. It calls for additional cuts of more than $213.5 billion over the next decade, a reduction of nearly 30 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

In addition, Trump is proposed a full-scale redesign of SNAP, which currently provides an average of $125 per month to 42.2 million Americans. For the last 40 years, the program has allowed beneficiaries to use SNAP benefits at grocery stores as if they were cash. Under the budget proposal, the Department of Agriculture would use a portion of those benefits to buy and deliver a package of U.S.-grown commodities to SNAP households each month, using the government’s buying power to obtain common foods at lower costs.

“This budget proposes taking away food assistance from millions of low-income Americans — and on the heels of a tax cut that favored the wealthy and corporations,” said Stacy Dean, president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “It doesn’t reflect the right values.”

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