New Budget Announced: Trump Budget to Take Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Food Away from Hungry Americans, Despite Assurances of AG Secretary to Contrary

05.22.2017

For Immediate Release:                                                                    

May 22nd, 2017                                                                                  

Contact: Magen Allen, Mallen@hungerfreeamerica.org                                                                                             

New Budget Announced: Trump Budget to Take Hundreds of Billions of Dollars of Food Away from Hungry Americans, Despite Assurances of AG Secretary to Contrary  

Advocates: “Budget Would Make Us Weaker, Sicker, and Hungrier”
“USDA Secretary Perdue ‘thrown under the tractor’ by White House”

Just last week, President Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, said that SNAP (the correct name for the old Food Stamp Program) was “very important, effective” and went on to say, “As far as I’m concerned we have no proposed changes. You don’t try to fix things that aren’t broken.” Yet, this morning Trumps’ new budget plan is proposing $193 Billion in SNAP cuts over 10 years, which could mean at least $9,000 of food taken away from the present SNAP caseload over a decade. These food cuts would be even greater than massive ones previously championed by House Republicans. These food cuts would be in addition to another $81 billion in cuts to programs for the lowest-income American, on top of an additional $800 billion in Medicaid cuts.

“This budget proposal would make America weaker, sicker, and hungrier than any time since the Great Depression,” said Joel Berg, Hunger Free America CEO. “There is nothing great about taking food away from any American.  These cuts would most harm children, seniors, veterans, low-income working people, and people with disabilities.  Ironically, they would most harm rural Americans and Southern states that gave Trump the greatest support in the last election."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s data says that nearly 83% of households on SNAP currently have children, elderly adults, or people with disabilities, and that more SNAP households than ever are working. SNAP’s error rates are lower than ever, with many of the errors due to clerical errors or mistakes due to rules that are already overly complex. Continued Berg, “While the Trump Administration claims that these cuts to SNAP will all be realized through stricter work requirements and reduced fraud, the math just doesn’t add up without decimating benefits for the most vulnerable.”

“Secretary Perdue made an eloquent case just last week for preserving nutrition programs," said Berg. “By proposing exactly the opposite of what Secretary Perdue promised, the White House threw him under the tractor.” 

Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, a conservative Republicans who is Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has opposed these budget cuts, calling cuts to SNAP “wrongheaded”

Continued Berg. “The people on his own team who know the most about SNAP -- his own USDA Secretary and the GOP Agriculture Committee Chair -- think it’s working, and 81% of Americans actually want to see the benefits increased. This couldn’t be further from Making America Great Again.”

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