Trump administration says it will provide food stamps in February despite shutdown

  • In US
  • 2019-01-09 00:03:59Z
  • By By Richard Valdmanis

By Richard Valdmanis

(Reuters) - The Trump administration said on Tuesday it would keep providing food assistance to poor Americans in February despite a partial U.S. government shutdown, but warned it had no solution in place for March if the funding shortfall continues.

The announcement provides a reprieve for the roughly 40 million people whose food stamps have been threatened by the shutdown, triggered last month by President Donald Trump's demand that lawmakers include billions of dollars for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall in any legislation to fund some government agencies.

The partial shutdown has affected a broad swatch of the federal government, including national parks, airline security screening, housing assistance and the release of economic data. About 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed or are working without pay.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the so-called Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program would receive funding for February thanks to a legal provision that allows money to be allocated within 30 days of a shutdown.

"The benefits for February will be provided," Perdue told reporters on a conference call. He said the funding would be provided early, by Jan. 20, to states that request it on time to meet the legal 30-day deadline.

Food stamps had already obtained federal funding through January before the shutdown took effect in late December.

Perdue said, however, that no solution had been identified for March, and called on lawmakers to agree on funding legislation and "send it to the president in a form that he can sign."

"I believe this provides ample time for Congress to act," he said.

The uncertainty over the food stamps program comes as Trump and Republican lawmakers seek to tighten eligibility, arguing many recipients should be able to find jobs. Democrats had blocked an effort to do so through the U.S. farm bill last year, but the USDA has since proposed new curbs on the program through an administrative rule-making process.

Trump will deliver a prime-time address on Tuesday night to make his case that a wall is urgently needed to resolve what he calls a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border,

A key plank of Trump's presidential campaign was his promise to build a border wall with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, who he said included criminals and drug traffickers. He vowed that Mexico would pay for it, which Mexico has refused to do.

Democrats, who now control the U.S. House of Representatives, oppose the wall funding and argue there are better ways to shore up border security and that Trump had promised that taxpayers would not have to foot the bill.

(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis in Boston; Editing by Peter Cooney)


More Related News

House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway
House Oversight threatens to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has cited Conway for multiple violations of the Hatch Act.

North Korea says Kim receives
North Korea says Kim receives 'excellent' letter from Trump
  • World
  • 2019-06-23 05:32:40Z

The White House declined to confirm that Trump had sent a letter to Kim. It comes as nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea broke down after the failed summit between Kim and Trump in February in Vietnam.

Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran
Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran's 'best friend'

President Donald Trump said Saturday that military action against Iran was still an option for its downing of an unmanned U.S. military aircraft, but amid heightened tensions he dangled the prospect of eventually becoming an unlikely "best friend" of America's longtime Middle Eastern adversary. Trump also said "we very much appreciate" that Iran's Revolutionary Guard chose not to target a U.S. spy plane carrying more than 30 people. The president's softer tone Saturday marked a stark contrast to the anti-Iran rhetoric he employed throughout the presidential campaign and presidency, including his use of punishing economic sanctions in an attempt to pressure Iran to give up its quest to...

Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep
Trump postpones nationwide immigration enforcement sweep

President Donald Trump on Saturday delayed a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally, including families, saying he would give lawmakers two weeks to work out solutions for the southern border. The move came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump on Friday

Trump Says He Scrapped Iran Strikes Because They Weren
Trump Says He Scrapped Iran Strikes Because They Weren't 'Proportionate'

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he called off retaliatory strikes on three Iranian sites following the downing of a U.S. Navy drone because the action would not have been "proportionate.""We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General," Trump tweeted Friday. "10 minutes before the strike I stopped it."A commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps told a semi-official news agency Friday that the drone had been accompanied by a manned U.S. spy plane that Iranian forces decided not to target.The planned U.S. attack, ordered after Iranian forces shot down a U.S. Navy drone...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.