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Key Trump Official Signals Strong Support For Food Stamps

By in Huffington Post on May 17, 2017

By Arthur Delaney

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump has said very little over the years about the food stamp program, which is one of America’s most important anti-poverty efforts and one that Republicans have frequently tried to cut.

On Wednesday, Trump’s secretary of agriculture strongly suggested the Trump administration has no interest in making drastic changes to the program.

“It’s been a very important, effective program,” Sonny Perdue told the House agriculture committee during a hearing. The USDA administers the food stamp program.

“As far as I’m concerned we have no proposed changes,” Perdue said. “You don’t try to fix things that aren’t broken.”

Perdue’s comments come as Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the Trump administration have floated significant cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other programs, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, as part of an effort to balance the federal budget within 10 years.

The Trump administration won’t officially release its budget until later this month, and a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget has said ideas for cuts described in news stories are bogus.

“The budget isn’t finished,” budget spokesman John Czwartacki said in a statement on Friday. “Rumors, leaks, and innuendo are not worth our comment ― or your coverage.”

An earlier, “skinny” version of the Trump administration’s budget released in March didn’t touch nutrition assistance and other so-called “mandatory” programs that pay benefits to anyone who’s eligible, regardless of the cost.

More than 42 million Americans receive SNAP benefits, making it the biggest safety net in the U.S. after Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Benefits vary by state but average about $125 […]    

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