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.

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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 TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Pressley experiencing flu-like symptoms, being tested for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill 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 McConnellDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims MORE (R-Ky.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Top GOP lawmakers push back on need for special oversight committee for coronavirus aid Stocks move little after record-breaking unemployment claims 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.

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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 TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders 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 PelosiNJ governor calls for assessment of coronavirus response after crisis abates Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Hillicon Valley: Zoom draws new scrutiny amid virus fallout | Dems step up push for mail-in voting | Google to lift ban on political ads referencing coronavirus 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.