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President’s Budget Would Shift Substantial Costs to States and Cut Food Assistance for Millions

News & Action Center


President’s Budget Would Shift Substantial Costs to States and Cut Food Assistance for Millions

May 24, 2017
Dawn Secor

President Trump’s 2018 budget proposes to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by more than $193 billion over the next ten years — a more than 25 percent cut — through a massive cost shift to states, cutting eligibility for millions of households and reducing benefits for hundreds of thousands more, as highlighted in a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The unemployed, the elderly, and low-income working families with children would bear the brunt of the cuts.

Among other cuts to SNAP, the President’s budget would:

  • Shift $116 billion in SNAP benefit costs to states. The President’s budget would require states to pay for 25 percent of SNAP benefits (starting at 10 percent in 2020 and increasing to an average state share of 25 percent by 2023), a cost shift of approximately $116 billion over ten years.   Since its bipartisan origin, SNAP has operated as a national program with benefits paid by the federal government — a structure that was intended to address the enormous disparity in hunger and poverty across states.  Such a cost shift would have significant consequences for states’ budgets. In 2016,  Under this proposal NYS would have lost over 1.2 billion in federal SNAP benefit dollars in 2016.
  • Eliminate a state option that supports working families and addresses a benefit cliff.  SNAP includes a state option that allows states to raise SNAP’s gross income eligibility cut-off of 130 percent of the poverty line ($2,200 per month for a family of three) to a higher level. Through this option, 31 states, including NYS, are providng modest food assistance benefits to working poor families who are paying a relatively large share of their income in rent and/or child care and as a result have too little left to afford a healthy diet.  The President’s budget would eliminate the option, which provides food assistance to an estimated 1 million households in an average month. Some 90 percent of this option’s benefits go to working households.

Included Resources
View a video from CBPP President Bob Greenstein in this blog post on the SNAP cuts