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Trump Administration Refuses to Delay New Food Stamp Work Requirements That Could Kick 700,000 Off the Program

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President Donald Trump's Department of Agriculture intends to tighten restrictions on food benefits for unemployed adults without children or disabilities—a move that will leave 700,000 people without assistance for food.

Democrats in Congress have urged the administration to delay the action—which goes into effect next month—in the face of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus.

In a hearing on Tuesday, Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-GA) urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to hold off on enforcing work requirements during the epidemic, calling the measure "particularly cruel."

Perdue responded:

"Obviously if your job says you can't come to work or you're sick in that way, that good cause would eliminate need for work requirements under this rule. That will be under the discretion of the states to determine that good cause."

The Trump administration made the planned cut through regulation, instead of with congressional input, but the House is expected to pass a stimulus bill calling for a suspension of work requirements for unemployed adults who benefit from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Its fate in the Senate is unclear.

The refusal to deviate from the planned action—despite the hundreds of thousands of people it affects—was yet another instance of what many deem as cruelty from the Trump administration.

Concerns are growing in regards to how the pandemic will affect every day Americans, many of whom are hourly workers with no access to paid sick leave.

Trump's administration still refuses to bend.