Trump administration weighs letting states drug test people who receive food assistance

Trump considering drug testing plan for food stamp recipients report

Trump considering drug testing plan for food stamp recipients report

With the United States facing an opioid epidemic, McGovern further raised concerns about what would happen if SNAP recipients failed drug tests under the administration's plan.

Under the Trump administration, states may soon be allowed to require some people on food stamps to pass a drug test before they can receive their benefits, reviving a pointless and stigmatizing policy that has always been favored in conservative circles.

Along with able-bodied people, the source said the proposal would target people without dependents who are seeking certain specialized jobs, the AP reported.

Possible changes could be coming for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program users, or better known as "SNAP". All of the recipients have mandated work requirements and can only be on the program for 36 months. Similarly, in Wisconsin, Republican Governor Scott Walker attempted to require food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing. "It's costly and cumbersome".

Federal law now prevents states from implementing their own conditions for people to be eligible to receive food assistance. At least 15 states passed laws allowing drug testing for recipients of temporary assistance.

Judges have blocked similar efforts in other states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 20 states have introduced legislation to screen safety net program recipients in some way. "The only person who should be drug tested is Donald Trump", he said. But Secretary Sonny Perdue has promised to provide states with "greater control over SNAP".

Those individuals, who are already subject to time limits in the program, need support, not to be drug tested, "demonized" or "belittled", he argued. 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".

Opponents like Ed Bolen, senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, told the AP it the proposal teeters the thin line of legality because states technically aren't allowed to use drug tests as a condition of eligibility for the program.

He says the benefits should be used to help people who are hooked on drugs get the treatment they need.

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