Trump considers mandatory drug testing for some food stamp recipients

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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. The mandatory drug tests could affect five percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.

He said you couldn't make someone take a drug test to get food stamps, especially the entirety of people who do.

At least 15 states have passed, or attempted to pass, similar laws, with mixed results.

"Drug abuse is still associated with minorities and the poor, but there is an illusion that there are tens of thousands of folks receiving Medicaid and or food stamps and not doing nothing".

States Could Drug Test People on Food Stamps Under Rumored Trump Administration Policy
Trump administration considering mandatory drug testing for some food stamp recipients

"I think if there's a red flag for certain people", one resident said.

If enacted, the House Agriculture Committee estimates that roughly 1 million people would leave the program over the next decade either because they would earn too much to qualify or because they would not meet the revised work requirement.

The emails obtained by the AP suggest that a plan could be forthcoming.

That's because the court said no, you couldn't do blanket testing of everyone getting food stamps.

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If the administration moves forward, it would not be the first time drug testing was used in a safety net program. Currently, four states test drug felons before they become eligible. What's more, he said, implementing drug testing for SNAP recipients is legally murky.

For example, In 2015 a study from the National Employment Law Project said states ended up spending more than $850,000 on drug testing TANF recipients.

There is no word on when the President will make a final decision on the proposal.

The USDA in recent months has been under fire for its controversial plan to replace a portion of millions of food stamp recipients' benefits with a pre-assembled package of shelf-stable goods dubbed "America's Harvest Box".

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While the proposed changes to one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs are still controversial, they are more moderate than what the Trump administration had proposed earlier in the year and have something that could appease conservatives and liberals. The food box plan was tucked into the Trump administration's proposed 2019 budget, which included cutting the SNAP program by $213 billion over the next 10 years.

Perdue, whose agency administers SNAP, said while the program helps Americans access nutritious food, "long-term government dependency has never been a part of the American dream".

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