The Trump budget may be a long way from becoming a reality, but already the president has received harsh criticism for his proposed slashing of social programs, including Meals on Wheels, Medicaid, federal employee pensions, and farm subsidies. The latest portion of the proposed budget that has many Americans reeling is the $193 billion that would be cut from the federal food stamp program, or about one-quarter of the program’s entire budget.
These proposed budget cuts far surpass any previous Republican attempts to slash food stamps from the federal ledger and have critics on both sides of the aisle:
“We think it’s wrongheaded,” Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, told the Associated Press when asked about looming cuts to farm programs. “Production agriculture is in the worst slump since the Depression — 50 percent drop in the net income for producers. They need this safety net.”
The plan to completely overhaul the federal food stamps program has been in the works since Trump won the presidential election in November. In December, House Republicans released a two-year review of the program, which has roughly doubled its level of federal funding over the past eight years.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program currently serves about 43.6 million people, and with such a huge proposed cut to federal funds, the requirements for receiving federal assistance would be significantly raised. Eligibility would be cut back and work requirements would be increased to shoulder the burden of a smaller budget.
A full budget submission by the current administration to Congress is overdue, and until that happens, the budget cuts remain stuck in the proposal stage.