The Trump administration on Thursday proposed a plan to tighten food-stamp requirements, jeopardizing the assistance given to more than 750,000 people, The Washington Post reports. Under the current system, adults without dependents must work or enroll in a job-training program in order to collect assistance for more than three months in a three-year period. That requirement can be waived, however, if they live in an area with 20 percent more unemployment than the national average. The new rule would only allow the requirement to be waived if the regional unemployment rate was above 7 percent, nearly double the national rate of 3.7 percent. The Post notes that approximately 755,000 people would lose their access to a waiver under the proposed rule, forcing them to either get a job or survive without federal assistance.
A similar Trump plan was not included in the $870 billion farm bill that the president is expected to sign Thursday. Democrats harshly criticized the move, and expressed their fury that Trump is pushing an agenda that could not be passed in Congress. “Congress writes laws, and the administration is required to write rules based on the law,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate agriculture committee told the Post. “Administrative changes should not be driven by ideology. I do not support unilateral and unjustified changes that would take food away from families.”