Trump has said, “President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion and growing.” He also said, “Yet what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition, and 43 million Americans are on food stamps.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, counted 43.6 million people in the program in April 2016, the most recent data available.
Major changes will be coming soon for two groups of people receiving food stamps – certain convicted criminals and winners of large lottery prizes.
The Department of Agriculture published a series of proposed rules, on Thursday, that would enforce laws passed by Congress nearly three years ago.
When it was passed on February 7, 2014, section 4008 of the bill prohibited anyone convicted of federal aggravated sexual abuse, murder, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, sexual assault, or similar offenses under state laws, as well as those who are not in compliance with the terms of their sentence or parole or are fleeing felons, from receiving food stamps.
Under Obama, no new regulations as per this bill were developed or enforced.
Section 4009 of the bill prohibited households containing a member with substantial lottery and gambling winnings from receiving food stamps until the household met the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements of the program.
Once again, under Obama this was not enforced.
Included in the Department of Agriculture’s proposed rules, it is mandated that each state have a system in place to verify the immigration status and income of anyone who applies for food stamps.
In his 2011 book, Trump wrote, “The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn’t be needed often. But when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud.”
The most recent figure of $74 billion being spent on the SNAP program in 2015 suggests that Trump was right.