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Trump Violates States Rights with End-Run Tightening of SNAP Work Requirement

As usual, when Donald Trump can’t get what he wants through honest deal-making, he cheats… and violates basic Republican principles.

To pass its big liberal Farm Bill with lots of welfare checks for farmers (and hemp! hemp, I say!), House Republicans had to give up on the SNAP work requirements that Donald Trump bleated about as part of his Archie Bunker platform. So apparently to get Trump to sign the Farm Bill (it’s been over a week—what’s he been waiting for?), his advisors had to cook up something that would make Donald think he’s getting his way on taking welfare away from poor people (while not taking one red cent away from the wealthy recipients of crop subsidies and subsidized crop insurance).

To that end, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue presents a new regulatory proposal to impose work requirements on more SNAP recipients:

The proposed rule change makes it harder for states to waive work requirements in areas that have high unemployment, currently defined as 20 percent above the national average.

The USDA is calling for those waivers to be limited to one year, down from up to two years states can currently request. It also wants to slash states’ ability to “bank” waivers for future years and is pushing to restrict waivers under certain criteria where local unemployment is around 7 percent.

In all, the proposed rule could reduce areas that qualify for waivers by roughly 75 percent, according to USDA officials.

…”These actions will save hard-working taxpayers $15 billion over 10 years,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, adding that the proposed rule would also get Trump “to support a farm bill he might otherwise have opposed” [Brakkton Booker, “Sidestepping Congress, Trump Administration Proposes More Work Rules for Food Stamps,” NPR, 2018.12.20].

Now this regulatory change is not the Trump/House work requirement. Trump and the House GOP wanted to expand the SNAP work requirement for able-bodied working adults without dependents age 18–48 to folks up to age 59 and to folks whose kids are all older than 6. Perdue’s proposal simply makes it harder for states to waive the work requirement for those subject to the current work requirement (which has already cut lots of needy neighbors off from food assistance).

But notice: to stop another Trumper tantrum, we have to hand the Infant-in-Chief a new rule that circumvents the will of his own majority Congress, asserts Executive power over Legislative, and (worst of all, I would think, for true conservatives) reduces states’ rights to administer SNAP as they see fit. Reducing these waivers takes away states’ ability to try new things and adapt to unique local conditions and imposes a one-size-fits-all federal solution in more cases. Those things are the opposite of what I hear Republicans promising us all the time:

Among my core principals is a belief in the ability of local people to make the best decisions for their locality. South Dakotans object when the federal government uses a ‘one size fits all’ approach, treating all the states the same way. We are not the same as California or New York. Each state is a better judge of its own state values than is the federal government. In the same way, we should not use a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to our counties, school districts and municipalities [Gov. Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2011.02.18].

This proposed change is, unfortunately, another “one size fits all” approach that does not take into account the expansive diversity in agricultural types, practices, and operations based on location. This sweeping change would result in financial burdens as well as additional and unnecessary regulatory oversight by the federal government. Decisions like these should be left to the states [Rep. Kristi Noem, press release, 2011.08.03].

Schools expressed concerns that USDA’s “one-size-fits-all” approach to school lunches left students hungry and school districts frustrated with the additional expense, paperwork, and nutritional research necessary to meet excessive federal requirements.

In response to these concerns, Thune, along with several of his colleagues in the Senate, sent a letter to USDA calling for changes to be made to the program lifting strict limitations on caloric intake of grains, starches, and proteins [Senator John Thune, press release, 2014.01.03].

Like so many of the administration’s regulations, the new overtime rule is a one-size-fits-all mandate that doesn’t take into account individual needs and regional differences [Senator Mike Rounds, press release, 2016.05.20].

Are there no real Republicans left to stand against the proposed USDA rule and defend states’ rights against Donald Trump’s overreaching federal government? Come on!

In other news, the Farm Bill does finally ban dog and cat meat. Woof woof!


  1. Debbo 2018-12-20 14:25

    Great suggestion Mike.

    ”These actions will save hard-working taxpayers $15 billion over 10 years,” Perdue.

    And how much did Lying Lunatic and the Pootiepublicans COST taxpayers over 10 years? How many billions did they add to our bill? I’m pretty sure it was a bit more than $15 billion.

  2. jerry 2018-12-20 14:46

    The entire Farm Bill should be scraped to never see the light of day. It’s a scam and always has been a scam that is why it has languished for 4 years, it is that crooked. First thing to do is separate the SNAP from the Farm Bill and then kill the Farm Bill like culling a deer herd that is trespassing on your precious lawns.
    Here is what Taxpayers for Common Sense say: Could not agree more

  3. Debbo 2018-12-20 16:34

    This comes from Jerry’s excellent link:

    “20,000 residents in the nation’s 50 largest cities received farm subsidies last year. And a few hundred of them have received a payment every year for the last three decades.”

    Couples can receive a quarter million of our tax money annually. (And we’re supposed to be worried about an individual who gets $100/month to put food on her table?)

    How can you lie on the Florida beaches and drain the US Treasury like that? Have a farmer somewhere in your family tree who’ll claim you are an Active Personnel Manager Only. You never have to set foot on the farm or even leave your beach blanket. Just claim you helped make decisions on when to plant or harvest or whatever. Bingo! Government checks rain into your account With Zero Work Requirements!

    This country does have too many entitlement programs and there’s one that could be chopped down ASAP.

    Get more details at Jerry’s link.

  4. David Newquist 2018-12-20 16:48

    Here is the press release from the Environmental Working Group, which maintains an online database on who receives farm subsidies and how much:


    WASHINGTON – On the same day President Trump will sign legislation allowing the wealthiest farmers, their relatives and millionaire city slickers to receive even more taxpayer-funded subsidies, his administration has announced plans to cut vital federal food assistance to hungry Americans.

    “At the very same time that President Trump is enriching the largest and most successful farmers — and their distant relations — with unlimited farm subsidies, he is also launching a new front in his war on America’s hungry,” said EWG President Ken Cook.

    “Most Americans believe we should assist family farmers who are truly in need of it, and help feed our hungry neighbors, not send unlimited taxpayer-funded checks to millionaires and wealthy beach bums,” Cook said. “But Trump is always eager to give his fellow fat cats a hand and doesn’t care about struggling family farmers and those who don’t have enough to eat.”

    The Department of Agriculture, led by Trump appointee Sec. Sonny Perdue, is proposing cutting off food assistance through the agency’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, or SNAP, to some struggling Americans.

    Meanwhile, today the president will also sign the 2018 Farm Bill. For the first time, it will allow nieces, nephews and cousins of current farm subsidy recipients to themselves collect up to $125,000 each year in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies – even if they do not live or work on the farm.

    “In many ways, what’s happening today under this administration perfectly encapsulates both President Trump’s personal values and his agenda for the country,” said Cook. “As with most of his decisions, these policies will continue to consolidate wealth among the richest Americans and push policies that batter those who are already hanging on by a thread.”

    According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, approximately 42 million Americans – 13 percent of the total U.S. population – rely on SNAP to get enough to eat. The average monthly SNAP benefit for each household member is $120, or $1.32 per person per meal.


    The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.




  5. Debbo 2018-12-20 16:50

    From same link:

    “ARC and PLC are vastly over budget. They’re on pace to cost $48 billion instead of the $27 billion they were estimated when the 2014 farm bill was adopted.”

    What other industries have government funded programs that guarantee price floors? Or do I understand those welfare programs correctly?

    “New federally subsidized crop insurance policies can be developed when the farm bill sets “research and development” priorities for the Risk Management Agency (RMA), or when organizations or institutions outside of RMA submit concept proposals. This process, known as 508(h), has resulted in dozens of new policies over the years. It’s also sprung forth a cottage industry of players who make a lucrative return on their development of policies.”

    I don’t understand this. Can someone help me out? It’s from the last section of the link.

    Oh yeah. Rocks are now included and subsidized in this gigantic welfare bill.

    “Sugar prices for producers of sugar cane and sugar beets in Section 1301 are protected through price supports and restricting sugar leading consumers to pay more for sugar than in any other country. Small dairy producers are so protected according to Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) they’d have to try to lose money.”
    (Peterson will be committee chair in January.)

    Most of all, Lying Lunatic’s trade war will continue to damage farming and make higher than planned payments to farmers necessary.

  6. mike from iowa 2018-12-20 17:48

    Debbo, Porter, Jerry, bcb and others, tomorrow is my 42nd anniversary of the biggest goof up of my life. There must have been a reason we chose the shortest day of the year to get married. Be that as it may, I don’t celebrate the bad anniversaries, just the one next October that tells me it has been 36 years of divorce and not getting back together again. That shines. I will die old and lonely some day, but imagine all the nagging I was fortunate to miss all these years. If I drank, I’d drink to that.

    Have a good evening. I am out of here.

  7. jerry 2018-12-20 17:55

    trump is a traitor, General Mattis steps down “Because you have a right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position,” Mattis said in his resignation letter, released by the Pentagon.”

    trump has aligned himself with Russia and Turkey against America’s interests. The blood and treasure’s that have been lost are just like yesterday’s news. Everything the traitor has said “An end to ISIS in one month, a soaring stock market and the wall. All lies.

    ISIS is not defeated, it is now up to the French to stand and fight along with the English as we have abandoned the battlefield. The stockmarket has soared into the ground as it lost another 650 points today before it corrected itself to just under 500 points.

    What are republicans saying, let’s cash our welfare checks and go to our second and third homes.

  8. jerry 2018-12-20 17:58

    mfi, you’re never along with us man. Always glad to have you as I am sure the rest of here are. For those that aren’t happy to have you, screw them, they are like your ex.

    Dude always remember this, Frank Zappa was born on that day.

  9. jerry 2018-12-20 17:59

    Damn man, “Alone” I am starting to type like I’m drinking for ya.

  10. bearcreekbat 2018-12-20 18:07

    mfi, glad to hear you recovered from the traumatic event you described. At least your empathy toward other human beings likely discouraged someone like Steve King from courting you, not that you would have positively responded to that Iowa piece of work. Anyway, all the best to you over the holidays!

  11. jerry 2018-12-20 18:08

    Crikey, even the treasury got infiltrated by Russia to get trump elected.

    “US Treasury Department officials used a Gmail back channel with the Russian government as the Kremlin sought sensitive financial information on its enemies in America and across the globe, according to documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

    The extraordinary unofficial line of communication arose in the final year of the Obama administration — in the midst of what multiple US intelligence agencies have said was a secret campaign by the Kremlin to interfere in the US election. Russian agents ostensibly trying to track ISIS instead pressed their American counterparts for private financial documents on at least two dozen dissidents, academics, private investigators, and American citizens.

    Most startlingly, Russia requested sensitive documents on Dirk, Edward, and Daniel Ziff, billionaire investors who had run afoul of the Kremlin. That request was made weeks before a Russian lawyer showed up at Trump Tower offering top campaign aides “dirt” on Hillary Clinton — including her supposed connection to the Ziff brothers.”

    No wonder Mattis resigned, there is only so much you can put up with when there is a traitor in the house. South Dakotan’s who gave trump so much cash when he was hand holding with NOem, you’re responsible for making Russia great again. Cash your welfare checks and move on over to your motherland. You can even do the freedom to farm with Putin.

  12. Francis Schaffer 2018-12-20 18:52

    A friend of mine while still married would drive by the house of the priest, who married them, and shoot out the porch light on his anniversary. I think he still does this

  13. T 2018-12-20 19:31

    A strong man knows the difference

    Keep on keeping on

    To all, ….happy holidays

  14. Jason 2018-12-20 20:11

    States have every right to use State money to buy food for people.

  15. Debbo 2018-12-20 20:52

    Mike, we’ve got your back and celebrate your piece of mind with you. Are there any porch lights we can shoot out for you?
    (Love that story Francis.) 😄

  16. Debbo 2018-12-20 21:01

    That Active Personnel Manager is one of the biggest Pootiepublican scams this year. (When they’ve got so many going on it’s hard to rank them.) Want to bet there’s an enormous share of Pootiepublicans who are APMs? Yeah. How many $millions do you think the Perdue family is raking in? Sickening. Anyone want to bet how many members of the trump Family Crime Syndicate are APMs?

    The Democrats have so much pitiful governance to undo starting next year. I expect a total Democratic federal government in 2021 because the citizens will demand it. Democrats will have to form Repeal Committees in each house to write bills solely for the purpose of cleaning up the fetid Pootiepublican mess.

  17. mike from iowa 2018-12-21 11:38

    Thanks to all. You are the best. Next October will also be the 40th anniversary of my very first back operation. And 60 some years since I survived Diptheria. Happy Holidays to everyone, including them guys.

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