Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

Coastal Bend residents give their take on drug testing for food stamps

Coastal Bend residents give their take on drug testing for food stamps

The congressman added that if President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans want to advance such a policy, they too should be subject to drug screens. Walker sued the USDA in 2015 for blocking the state from drug testing adults applying for food stamps.

He says the benefits should be used to help people who are hooked on drugs get the treatment they need.

The Trump administration may allow states to require mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients. Estimates pin the number of those affected at around 5 percent of participants in the program.

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Congress is considering requiring them to work 20 hours per week to get the benefits.

For an officer to do this or to seize your property they need probable cause; in this case, a reason to force someone to take a drug test. Florida has tried to implement a similar program, though a federal appeals court in the state determined in 2014 that drug testing SNAP recipients would be unconstitutional.

For years, conservative lawmakers at both the federal and state levels have been pushing efforts to have welfare recipients drug-tested.

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There's a push for stricter requirements on some people who get food stamps; specifically able-bodied people. "It's just mean spirited", he said. While federal guidelines already make that stipulation to receive benefits, most of the counties in West Virginia had received a waiver that exempts them during times of high unemployment.

McGovern, who stressed that he views food as a "fundamental right for every single person in this country", said he's committed to fighting the administration's proposal and ensuring Americans have the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.

"Instead, we get these nasty soundbites, which do nothing but advance distortions about a group of people who are struggling". Though the administration has not taken an official public position on SNAP, as the AP noted, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has promised to provide states with "greater control over SNAP". According to USDA, over 16 million "able-bodied adults", with or without children, enrolled in SNAP in 2016.

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Drug testing would not be an entirely new frontier for SNAP. Emails obtained by the AP, however, "suggest that a plan could be forthcoming", the news outlet noted.

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