USDA to Give States More Flexibility in Administering Food Stamps

(Photo/Mike Blake/Reuters)

December 6, 2017
OAN Newsroom

The Department of Agriculture is considering possible changes to the country’s food stamp program.

In a letter released Tuesday, the USDA acting Deputy Undersecretary Brandon Lipps called to give states — quote –‘”greater flexibility” in how each oversees the program.

Reports say the move could allow states to begin administering drug tests or adding stricter work requirements for food stamp recipients.

The policies have long been sought after by Republicans, and were repeatedly blocked during the Obama administration.

This comes after President Trump hinted welfare reforms may be next on his agenda after tackling tax reform.

  • aldoro

    After caliPORNia, there won’t be any food stamps left.

  • Richard McMeekin

    My understanding is many of those receiving food stamps are misusing them to buy items other than food. If that be the case then such misuse should be a punishable offense and the punishment should be forfeiture of eligibility to receive them. Vendors accepting food stamps for items other than food should be heavily fined.

  • Katfishkelly M

    I like it EXCEPT the kids that do not do drugs will not get stamps to eat on.. but parents prob sell some of them to support their habit and let the kids eat ramen noodles.. HOW ABOUT IF PARENTS FAIL DRUG TEST THEY LOSE THEIR CHILDREN PLUS GET NO FOOD STAMPS.. bet THAT will push a lot of the fraudulent use out of the system.. If parents can pass drug test and not be felon they can enjoy them for limited time while they look for work or take classes to make them more employable.. NOT GET ON THEM FOR LIFE.. several generations of stamp eaters.. where they make sure they dont earn enough to not qualify.. or only earn it under the table.. doing who knows what including selling drugs.. That way ONLY good healthy parents with good intentions to use them as a ‘helping step up to gainful employment and being able to buy their own food with no stamps”.. as they were originally intended.. it is not the tax payers job to keep feeding never ending new litters of children.. because more kids you have more stamps you get.. that should get turned around too… if you keep creating more mouths to feed your stamps get cut back.. as you must be able to afford to have more kids or you would not be doing it. Same reason we can not keep getting new pets until we have a small zoo we cannot feed… no more REWARDING people for making babies with larger welfare amounts!

  • Native Born American

    Yesterday while in Virginia while standing in line at a grocery store I watched an illegal non English speaking woman buy a massive amount of food using food stamp debit card.

    The checker noticed the look on my face and stated the woman is also employed at McDonald’s.

    This isn’t how my tax dollars should be spent!

  • brad m

    I am fully on-board with drug screening every time immediately prior to monies of welfare being issued. Even if it costs more money than it would save! Need to keep government taxes from benefiting drug dealers domestic and foreign

    • Stan d

      Funny those drug tests are really only used for Cannabis. Meth, heroin, cocaine, opiates etc; all tend to “flush” out the human body in a matter of days. Its a flawed system.

  • Mark P

    Nothing like buying votes through entitlements right libs?

    • Letmesay

      That’s the norm today.

  • Letmesay

    I can’t wait for welfare reform to come to the table. We need to put able body people back to work and take it away from the illegals. My parents paid for these lazy people and illegals, I paid for it and my children are paying for it. It is not right that our grandchildren pay for it too. While generation after generation of the lazy and illegals continue the status quo.

  • JL Ziegler

    What impoverished people really need is more jobs. Some states won’t allow more jobs and/or give the priority for job placement to disabled military and illegals. Specifically, in NM, this adds to the extremely long list of people who need food stamps. Can Trump even help this horrid cycle of poverty? Not so sure…

    • Nepenthe

      Illegals should NEVER have priority, unless it’s with ICE deporting them!!!!

  • RockyMt, CO

    Well, the nutty dem governor of my state will now loosen up and give out more food stamps. A sanctuary city is the capital of the state.

  • Varangian Guard

    The people using them in my state buy the prepared food in the deli counter, high fat, deep fried, and expensive without much return on the dollar.
    In the rest of the city, the party stores are still giving fifty cents on the dollar for forties and onezee’s……

    • BigHairNurse

      how are they buying the DEEP FRIED foods… its prepared and not eligible with SNAP benefits

      • Nepenthe

        Some states allow prepared food to be bought with food stamps because they have high populations of homeless who have no place to cook.

      • LoupGarouTFTs

        You can buy cold, prepared food, such as sandwiches and roasted chickens, with EBT here in MS. I’m not sure about fried chicken, but if it’s cold, then you probably can.

      • Varangian Guard

        It qualifies in Michigan

  • Daniel Campbell

    Reality Check. 90 percent of Federal Tax dollars come from Corporations. Monies used to pay for foodstamps. Archer Daniel Midland, Monsanto etc. profit from those programs. Big Food Corporation spend millions lobbying and donating to politicians to keep these programs. Tons and Tons of food literally rot on the ground. Visit Yakima Washington. Thousands of apples and pears lay rotting. It’s an abomination to see people starving with so much excess. God Bless everyone who has a job. No one who owns a company is obligated to hire anyone. Most business exist to make a profit. So stop talking about the sacrifice and efforts you’ve chosen to live your life. Choices have Consequences. Biblical Correctness. Jesus says there will always be poor people. If everyone in America had a Phd in engineering you’d have poor people. Just thank God you have options.

  • likwyd

    There also needs to be a limit on what you can buy, too. Just like WIC. You’re given a list of specific, healthy things you can get. And that’s all you can get.

    Edit: To add, my local Starbucks accepts EBT. Why?

    • BigHairNurse

      you do realize HEALTHY cost 2-4x more right?? and this is once again the government overstepping…. I agree no tobacco, ETOH….. but who are any of us to DICTATE to another what they can and cannot eat

      • Flagfriend

        “but who are any of us to DICTATE to another what they can and cannot eat”

        I should be able to if I’m paying for it. I guess you agree with me if you are excluding tobacco.

        If you want choice, earn the money yourself and get off the government dole.

      • likwyd

        Fair enough. How about I rephrase and they get a list of things they cannot get, like chips, soda, candy, Starbucks, Steaks (premium), Shrimp, etc.
        My point was, I’m sick of getting in line behind someone with two carts full of garbage food, and they pay with EBT, while I’m struggling to get half a cart of sustainable ingredients for family meals for the week.

    • Nepenthe

      “Healthy” — like bread, skim milk, juice…. all things I’m not allowed to have because they are NOT healthy for me.

      You can’t have a one size fits all grocery list.

      FYI– during one of my pregnancies, I NEEDED the extra help, so I got on WIC. I ate the cheese and peanut butter and had to give the juice to the local pantry because I was gestational diabetic. And it was ALOT of juice. But they aren’t allowed to change what’s on the checks. And I was told I had to get everything.

      Waste of money.

    • Flagfriend

      Who are you to think the less fortunate should not have all the options for food/drinks that you have, even if they don’t pay for them?

      Don’t you get it yet ? – the government wants to make everyone “equal”.

      (last time I checked, that in a nutshell is communism)

  • landy fincannon

    Folks, it’s called a benefit for a reason.
    Regardless of whether or not you choose to participate you’re still on the hook.
    We have been made the sureties for the National debt, through surreptitiously written adhesion contracts.

    • Huks

      “We have been made the sureties for the National debt, through surreptitiously written adhesion contracts.”
      Ah, yea I always say that.

      • landy fincannon

        One simple question. Do you hold an allodial title to your home?

  • Ken

    I heard a woman yesterday on a call in radio show saying that the government gave her the food stamps and it was her money. She should be able to use it how she wanted, but was forced to use it at grocery stores, so she bought lobster and steaks with it. “She is teaching her kids about the finer things in life that the government provides”.

    • Nepenthe

      And she’s why every single hard working person on food stamps has a bad reputation. All it takes is one. smh

      • Just A Guy

        You make two. smh

  • Just A Guy

    I think its a wonderful idea. What’s more, I believe if you’re an able bodied individual on food stamps you should be an employee of the state and required to spend x amount of hours each week earning them. It’s only fair.

    • Nepenthe

      So in addition to working full time and going to school, you think someone should also have to work for the state? How about you find out how things work before trying to “fix” them.

      • Just A Guy

        If they’re accepting public assistance…YES!! I worked for that money they’re getting! By God so should they.

        “Find out how things work”? You first.

        You’re on welfare, huh? It’s people like you that muck up an otherwise great nation. Liberal control…that’s what we need. It would eradicate 90% of the worlds problems overnight! You guys aren’t problem solvers, you’re problem creators. We need to rid the country of you cockroaches.

  • Scott Vance, CPA, CGMA

    Once you give someone something its hard to take it back

    • Ken Knerr

      Tell that to the IRS when they give you an excess refund by mistake.

    • Don

      …as in free health care!

  • Slowpoke

    Hurrah!

  • CDG

    I think every able bodied person receiving government assistance should be drug screened and be looking for work. However, the issue is most of these programs cut you off if you make more money. Saw it first hand growing up. People saw that taking a full or part time minimum wage job then made you ineligible for government assistance programs. They brought in more money and benefits by not working! Significant changes need to be made across the board. There has to be a cap on the amount of eligible children for Medicaid, WIC and EBT. People have zero incentive to stop breeding when they know the taxpayers are going to foot the bill. We also have way to many unskilled or uneducated people trying to provide for a family with jobs that were never meant to provide that type of income. Cheap competition from illegal workers doesn’t help.

    • Sane_Person37

      WIC – Democrat voter breeder program.

      • Letmesay

        Agree

    • Huks

      “We also have way to many unskilled or uneducated people trying to
      provide for a family with jobs that were never meant to provide that
      type of income” .

      True and it is hard to get a better job when you were kicked out of the 6th grade for being a
      “kewl dude” instead of studying.

      • Whirled Peas

        Get your GED and get on with it.

    • LoupGarouTFTs

      What about able-bodied people with chronic depression or people who live in economically depressed areas? I agree that receiving aid should not be a pass to breed more, but there are a lot of people who look as if they can work, but actually can’t.

      • Whirled Peas

        Look. We are Americans. We don’t look to the government to nanny us. If we fall down, we may need a little temporary help getting back on our feet. But we do what we need to do. We figure it out. The government isn’t helping when they provide generous welfare, food stamps disguised as a credit card, rent and heating assistance, and free lunches for kids without a finite time limit, and at least the requirement of some useful volunteer service while you are looking for a job. Welfare shouldn’t be more enticing than a paycheck.

        • LoupGarouTFTs

          Get under your overpass with your begging bowl, peasant! *rolls eyes*

      • CDG

        My intention with the term “able bodied” was to imply health individuals. If you don’t have the correct job skills then any area in the country could be an economically distressed area. Many changes must be made with these government programs but changes must be made by individuals in their behavior and thought process as well. It all starts at home. Ultimately, there are no easy answers to complicated problems.

  • Expat47

    Issue them beans, rice, milk, bread & cheese each month. If they want something more they can get a job.

    • JAVA bOB

      Now that I like…

    • LoupGarouTFTs

      So no green vegetables? No meat protein? How would this diet benefit someone with insulin resistance or a milk allergy? Try again, please.

      • Whirled Peas

        Food stamps are supposed to supplement, not furnish someone’s entire diet. I think recipients should be able to choose from those basics listed above as well as produce, flour, hamburger, chicken, etc. Basics, not fancy premade meals and candy, desserts, etc. Cheese and beans are both good sources of protein, as is milk. When you can pay for fancy foods, you are welcome to them. Just not on my dime.

        • LoupGarouTFTs

          Now you’re back-tracking. Either stand by your statement or don’t make it. By the way, I’d like to know how someone without work is supposed to “supplement” their diet with food stamps. Not everyone can have their own chickens or cows or goats to provide them with eggs, milk, and meat.

          • Corey Crane

            Ive never had a problem finding work why cant they

          • LoupGarouTFTs

            Because not everyone lives in a city where you can easily find work. Because some people are over-qualified for the work they can get to or because they have become disabled or have become aged. Just because you know people who abuse the food stamps they receive doesn’t mean everyone does.

          • Letmesay

            Wow, here you are again sweating over the things you have no control over.

          • Corey Crane

            Most of the people i know on food stamps( which granted isnt alot) sell them for 50 cents on the dollar

          • Katfishkelly M

            thats how you get your nicotine, alcohol and dope money.. n gas to get to the dealer and the store.. lol… sadly so true about the ones who live in the fast lane.. its just a credit card for everything bad that requires cash… or hairdo and nails.. the important stuff.. have to APPEAR to be able to afford stuff… its all so backward..

        • Corey Crane

          Good point

      • Letmesay

        Sorry but not everyone eats meat frequently even those that get up everyday to pay for those that don’t.
        Diabetes is the intake of too much sugar for a long period of time. Last time I looked you could buy a can of green beans for less then a $1. Beans have much better protein then beef, zero fat..
        Besides you give someone food stamps they will buy what they want no matter what their medical condition. Most people on welfare get free food, free medical, free daycare, free education. And they still have medical problems. So don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control.

        • LoupGarouTFTs

          You absolutely know nothing about diabetes. Educate yourself before trying to argue a point.

      • Expat47

        NMFP!

    • BigHairNurse

      I can’t get a job because I am now disabled, but would kill to return to my career as a Trauma RN…. so do you think ALL that receive SNAP benefits are unworthy?

      • Corey Crane

        No i dont believe they are all unworthy. Some i would be glad to give more but there are to many that abuse the system

        • LoupGarouTFTs

          So you want to make all people who receive assistance “pay?” For the record–I am completely in favor of drug testing, if that’s what is needed, but a work requirement is often unrealistic. (I live 13 miles from town, for example. Minimum wage and high gas prices negate the wages for which benefits would be cut).

          • Katfishkelly M

            move to town to live in gov paid housing… thats what the gov wants.. herd everyone into gov paid housing… then the real fun begins.. figuring out ways to CONTROL them all MORE….

      • Letmesay

        Disable how?…You were a trauma RN and can’t find a job, really?

    • Nepenthe

      You realize that most states already have a work requirement for the able bodied adults? That’s why so many people suffered when Obamacare passed– the businesses split the full time jobs into two part time jobs to avoid having to pay the fee, and the hours they split the jobs into were under the amount required for food stamps.

    • Corey Crane

      Great idea

  • Edman

    Great start to making welfare recipients liable to the hardworking taxpayer. Now lets put the same stipulation on Social Security Disability recipients/abusers.

    • Ken

      I was sharing a room in a VA hospital with a 30 something year old man. He explained in detail how to get a total disability for myself and my family. When I told him that I wasn’t interested, he said I was stupid. He got his wife on total disability from the police dept. and he made his 16 year old son stay in a wheel chair to keep from blowing his disability. One cannot stereotype by race either because this family is white and sharing with others how to cheat the government using the rules and persistance.

    • BigHairNurse

      you might want to take check in your statement and THINK outside the box….anyone that draws disability paid into the system… as I did and I paid in more than my mother who worked 20 yrs longer than I…. I ask for help returning to college to finish my Masters degree so that I could teach new nurse but I was told NO I was too old for them to give a crap about me and the fact THE MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE

      • Nepenthe

        My father in law was forced by doctors to get on disability even though he felt he could still teach. But they wouldn’t let him– no slipping of students’ state test scores, but somehow he was deemed “disabled” and they called his school and insisted that the school not let him return to work.

        How’s he supposed to survive? People are so oblivious to the crap going on in our system.

        I know someone who had their hours reduced from full time to under 17 because of the regulations in Obamacare. He was working full time, but when his hours changed, he couldn’t even get food stamps because of the 20 hour work requirement. So he was SOL even though he was looking for another job anyway– well so was everyone else cause Obamacare hit all the jobs. So now full time jobs were suddenly 2 part time jobs– and Obama goes, “I added jobs to the economy” *eyeroll*

        The more I look into things, the more I think people suffer because of both parties.

  • Only makes sense.

  • Aldo

    If I have to take a drug test/background check AND have my credit checked for a JOB where I WORK for $$$ to pay my bill then it IS ONLY FAIR for prospective welfare recipients and existing recipients to be subjected to the same guidelines. Ofcourse obamASS, et al want that blocked – why ? Think “R” word

    • Heremeroor

      Yep! it’s not their money. It’s tax payers’ money. The cost of the pee test could be deducted from the first month’s aid. If it’s a no pass, don’t mind taking the hit for the cost-it’s still much cheaper than not having it and giving the money away to that recipient.
      I’d take it further. To be a recipient of help, they must stay out of trouble. If they drop the ball, they’re OUT!

      • BigHairNurse

        it’s funny how so many that have never had to lower themselves to ask for help have such BIG JUDGEMENTS…. let us never forget that some that receive help were once TAX PAYERS too…and as I have recently learned I paid more in than my mother who worked 20 longer than I….

        • Flagfriend

          BigHairNurse: you seem to be upset that you have paid extensive amounts of money into a system and are not receiving a commensurate amount of benefits from it.

          Heremoor has “and probably still is” paying extensive amounts of tax money into the system, and considering how the eligibility requirements for tax payer funded entitlements work, he does not feel he is getting HIS money’s worth

          So you see, the two of you are not much different, are you?

          • Just A Guy

            Most excellent post!!

        • Heremeroor

          I don’t have a problem with those who need the help due to economical hardship or medical issues. In fact, most in that situation would prefer not having it and make a living with sweat equity; I grew up in the welfare system, and saw firsthand how it can make someone dependent of it to a point that it would enslave them. However, I do have a problem with the welfare leaches who choose to make handouts a career, and the multi-generational leaches. I was fortunate to go to school and prepare myself to enjoy my sweat equity.
          BTW, I doubt the aforementioned leaches have paid taxes, especially the multi-generational.

        • Karen Elizabeth Senecal

          True, but unfortunately the regulation has to be uniform. There of course needs to be guidelines, such as those on disability, or over 60 or even 50 years of age. If someone is healthy and at an age to work need to do them. No excuse not to work unless you are medically unable…and that needs to apply to Medicaid.

      • Corey Crane

        The problem is most drugs only stay in your system for 3 days pot is the only thing that stays for a month

        • Katfishkelly M

          hair follicle test… (everyone coming to apply is shaved all of a sudden.. lol).. I think make them TEMPORARY.. not several generations no problem.. no one being made to learn stuff to become employable .. or even giving them a reason to consider trying to work within a couple of years.. just keep giving away the tax dollars.. and the free phones.. how about make people work at least 20 hours a week for free phone or food stamps.. but none for anyone who will not either work or do COMMUNITY SERVICE for 20 hours a week… then daycare can cover the kids costs while they do their community service to earn their stamps and free phones… better than just laying on couch stuffing faces with cheetoes…. while the kids learn thats how you eat.. on gov handout.. wtf.. I work HARD and can only afford beans and rice and bag of mix veggies.. make lots of soup and I see people with stamps buying all kinds of meat.. I can not afford to.. and I work hard at a full time job.. barely can afford basic bills n gas in car and cheap food.. hardly fair.

        • Heremeroor

          It’s better than no testing at all. Besides, those who use drugs not prescribed to them have a higher probability that they’d do something stupid and violate the no wrapsheet rule and get kicked out.

        • Karen Elizabeth Senecal

          The answer is random tests. On a phone call they have 24 hrs to submit. If they are a no show their account is immediately frozen.

      • Johnny G.

        Given the more “flexibility”, the states could make the recipients do that and anything else that makes it worth the effort. This administration is digging into ALL of Obozo’s foolish efforts. Long live MAGA!!

    • Nepenthe

      Responsibility??

      That takes money and doesn’t find enough abuse to counterbalance it.

      So basically what you’re saying is “If I have to do this, THEY have to as well– even if I have to spend MORE taxpayer money to do it!”