President Trump’s budget proposal would shift a significant share of the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP, aka Food Stamps) costs to states and allow states to cut benefits, seriously threatening the program’s long-term success, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “This proposal threatens to dramatically increase the number of Texans at risk of hunger,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “SNAP is a lifeline for children, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities in Texas who are already facing tough times. We urge the members of the Texas congressional delegation to reject any budget proposal that requires cuts to SNAP.” According to the report, once the provision was fully in effect, Texas would face more than $1.3 billion in additional annual costs or else be forced to reduce benefits. Over the full ten years of the proposal, Texas would face $9.2 billion in additional costs, more than any other state except California. Historically, SNAP benefits have been financed with federal funds to ensure that regional disparities in hunger are properly addressed. The President’s budget would end this longstanding and successful approach by forcing states to cover 25 percent of SNAP benefit costs, cutting federal support for SNAP by $116 billion over a decade. “Texas clearly would be unable to absorb such significant costs without cutting food benefits to vulnerable families,” said Cole. “Texas would also face longer, deeper recessions, since SNAP plays a key role in sustaining demand at local food stores during economic downturns.” Congress is currently considering the Trump administration’s proposal alongside others to cut SNAP as part of a larger budget reconciliation package.
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