Trump may allow states to drug test food stamp recipients

Trump Administration weighing possible drug testing for some food stamp recipients

Trump Administration weighing possible drug testing for some food stamp recipients

The Trump administration is considering a plan that would allow states to drug test some food stamp recipients.

The Trump administration is weighing a proposal that would apply mostly to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and applying for some specialized jobs. The change would affect about 5 percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In March, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill that requires ABAWDs to work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits.

USDA under Trump has not taken a public position on drug testing.

Since such small portion of recipients would be tested, and an even smaller portion of those people are likely to be using drugs, it's unclear why this policy would be necessary or cost-effective.

Politicians have tried to limit SNAP purchases throughout the program's history, and measures like these are nothing new-but today's report suggests a new milestone in the effort is on the immediate horizon.

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The new work requirement would still provide exemptions for adults with disabilities, adults 60 years or older, pregnant mothers and parents with children under 6. "I find it insulting, I find it just unconscionable", he said, arguing that the average SNAP benefit is $1.40 per person, per meal.

"The idea that what they're proposing is not to try and get people help; what they're proposing is a way to punish people and they want to punish people by taking away a food benefit - I don't quite get this approach".

We hit the streets to see how people felt about it.

Supporters of the move say it would help individual states get more flexibility in how they serve those in need and could save states money, while reducing drug dependency. According to the AP, at least 15 states have passed laws that allow them to drug test recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also known as TANF.

In sampling opinions around uptown, NBC Charlotte spoke with Josh Williams who said he has already been booted out of the food stamp program. The Trump administration has sought to add work requirements, either through waivers or legislation, for other programs, such as Medicaid and federal housing assistance. The bulk of the bill's spending goes toward funding SNAP, which often proves the most contentious part of negotiations; late last month, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., issued a statement on behalf of Democrats denouncing "extreme, partisan policies being advocated by the majority".

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