Proposed restrictions to a federal aid program will encourage more Americans to work instead of relying on handouts, a key presidential adviser said on Dec. 4.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue (R) plans to limit states from exempting work eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefits.

“We want to encourage people by giving them a helping hand, but not an infinitely giving hand,” Perdue said according to The Associated Press.

The new rule imposes stricter criteria that states have to meet before issuing waivers for workable recipients who are able-bodied adults without dependents and between the ages of 18 and 49.

If they do not meet the 20-hour work requirement they can only stay on SNAP benefits beyond three months if states issue a waiver. However, the new plan will only allow states to issue waivers in cities or counties where there is  an unemployment rate of 6 percent or higher. Waivers will be valid for one year and require the governor to support the request.

The Agriculture Department estimates the change would save taxpayers about $5.5 billion over five years by stopping benefits for some 688,000 SNAP recipients, down from the department’s original estimate of 750,000 recipients. The program feeds more than 36 million people across the nation.

The department previously proposed three major changes to SNAP, including restricting time limit waivers. It also proposed eliminating broad based categorical eligibility, which would allow those receiving certain noncash public benefits to automatically qualify for food stamps and effectively change how utility costs are factored into benefit calculations.

Department Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps was unable to confirm with the Associated Press when the department would finalize the other proposed rules.

SNAP is not the only public benefits program the Trump administration has proposed downsizing. The administration announced in 2018 that it would allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (R) separately considered another proposal that could have allowed local governments to implement work requirements on those receiving housing assistance. The plan was ultimately scrapped.

The Democratic Party continues to oppose these measures, claiming they would punish people who worked on either a seasonal or casual basis. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) admitted “there’s a reason” SNAP work requirement provisions were never passed into the 2018 farm bill.

“This administration is out of touch with families who are struggling to make ends meet by working seasonal jobs or part time jobs with unreliable hours,” Stabenow said according to the Associated Press.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is also against reducing the welfare burden on taxpayers.

“The administration is inflicting their draconian rule on millions of Americans across the nation who face the highest barriers to employment and economic stability,” she said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

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