Don't let 'welfare for all' advocates derail administration's food stamp program reforms
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No one thinks millionaires, or millions of people with thousands of dollars in the bank, should get food stamps. Except, apparently, the “squad” of far-left, welfare-for-all advocates in Congress.

I recently testified before a congressional committee on a proposed Trump administration rule that would stop people with significant assets from getting food stamps, also known as SNAP. Bureaucrats in the Clinton and Obama administrations created a loophole that let states give away benefits to more than 5 million people who are not eligible by federal law, including millionaires.

That’s what I talked about during the hearing. Democrats on the committee and my progressive counterparts on the panel, on the other hand, used this opportunity to inexplicably talk about how the Trump administration is denying low-income students school lunches—an unrelated and untrue assessment of what’s happening. But when you’re out of arguments, you grasp at anything you can to further your agenda.


What the proposed welfare reform is really about is the fact that more than half of the people who receive benefits through this government gimmick have $20,000 or more in countable assets, like cash or recreational vehicles, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

But that didn’t stop committee Democrats, including members of the “squad,” Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Democrats unveil bill to reduce police violence against people with mental illness MORE (Mass.), from defending the current policy of passing out food stamps without checking bank accounts or without resource limits of any kind. After all, the “squad” has made it pretty clear they want Food Stamps for All. Or maybe bread lines for all?

Tlaib and Pressley’s partner in socialism, Rep. Alexandria Ortiz-Cortez (D-N.Y.), made that obvious when she recently said that it is impossible for anyone to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” Unfortunately, that is exactly how these leftists view America.

They say that if you are down, your only option is a lifelong government handout—just enough to barely get by. They don’t believe in the exceptional American work ethic that built this great nation or Americans’ ability to rise above their circumstances and move beyond government dependency. That’s a shame—and a sham.

The “squad” can go ahead and cheer for Food Stamps for All, but thankfully, that is not the law today, and will not be while Donald J. Trump is president and there is strong conservative leadership in Congress like Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Battle for Senate 'a 50-50 proposition' 'Packing' federal courts is already a serious problem What a Biden administration should look like MORE (R-Ky.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (R-Calif.). Instead, Congress has wisely reserved food stamps for the truly needy, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and children and families in poverty. And the president is reinforcing that longstanding policy to protect taxpayer-funded benefits for those who need them most.


The Trump administration rule to end Broad Based Categorical Eligibility, or BBCE, will make sure that federal food stamp law is followed. Today, millions of people in more than 40 states are getting benefits that Congress never authorized. Rob Undersander, from Minnesota, proved this point when he received food stamp benefits for 18 months, despite being a millionaire. And it is going on around the country. Fortunately, that stops when this rule goes into effect.

While the left characterizes this improved program integrity as “an attack on America’s children,” the truth is that BBCE is being used to commit welfare fraud. The independent Office of the Inspector General warned about BBCE being used for SNAP abuse in 2015, and even commented in support of the proposed rule. The Government Accountability Office reinforced the need for BBCE to be eliminated with their study detailing that BBCE cases were nearly three times more likely to have errors than other food stamp cases.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: 'I love you back' Police called after Florida moms refuse to wear face masks at school board meeting about mask policy Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline MORE has moved millions from welfare to work. More Americans than ever are experiencing the life-changing impact of getting off the welfare rolls and onto the payrolls. It’s a great thing for them and our country. Eliminating BBCE is the next great step the administration is taking to expand this positive impact. Let’s not let Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Trump should accept election results 'like a man' The spectre of pension failures haunts this election Microsoft: Iranian hacking group targeting attendees of major international security conferences MORE (D-Calif.) and her radical left wing “squad” rip that progress to shreds.

Sam Adolphsen is policy director for the Foundation for Government Accountability.