DNC “PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS ALMOST DOUBLED OUR NATIONAL DEBT TO MORE THAN $19 TRILLION, AND GROWING,” TRUMP 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.”
We wanted to fact-check his statistic about Americans using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps.
SNAP benefits provide vouchers for groceries for qualifying low-income Americans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, counted almost 43.6 million people in the program in April 2016, the most recent data available.
Major changes could be coming soon for two groups of people receiving food stamps — certain convicted criminals and winners of large lottery prizes.
On Thursday, the Department of Agriculture published a series of proposed rules that would enforce laws passed by Congress nearly three years ago.
The last farm bill, signed into law on Feb. 7, 2014, authorized federal spending for the welfare program and prohibited both serious felons and substantial lottery winners from receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, according to the proposed rules.
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.
Existing rules already prohibited “fleeing felons and probation or parole violators from obtaining SNAP benefits,” but now anyone convicted as an adult of murder or aggravated sexual assault will also be barred from receiving food stamps, The Daily Caller reported.
Section 4009 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.
The “substantial lottery and gambling winnings” must amount to $25,000 or more from the lottery before taxes in order to render the household ineligible for SNAP benefits, according to The Daily Caller.
In addition to these major updates, the proposed rules also mandated that each state have a system in place to verify the immigration status and income of anyone who applies for food stamps.
States currently have the option of using verification systems to determine SNAP eligibility, but the new rules — if enacted — would require each state agency to create an automated system for checking applicants’ requirements.