Republicans have been defending impeachable offenses by Donald Trump from the beginning of his administration, when he refused to divest from his business interests and instead began a campaign of using his office as advertising venue and booking agent for those interests. The motives for overlooking his corruption have remained the same as well: the hard-right Republican functionaries (and white nationalists, and industry lobbyists) who attached themselves to the Trump team have been able to make great strides on their goals of dismantling government, weakening the restrictions placed on industry, and being Very Damn Racist.
One of those goals has long been the slashing of aid to the poor—necessary, say Republicans, to reduce the tax burdens of the “job creators” that fund Republican campaigns. It’s happening yet again, as Team Trump goes around Congress to cut food aid given by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Set to take effect next year, it’s being done under the guise of a “work requirement”—specifically, the new rules prohibit states from waiving the three month time limit on the work requirements for food aid beneficiaries, as they are currently allowed based on local circumstances, unless the local unemployment rate is 7% or higher—much higher than current levels.
The net result will be to end food assistance to about 3 million people.
HuffPo notes that even the USDA itself, in their own analysis of the changes, raises civil rights concerns over those changes potentially “disparately impacting certain protected groups” due to disparate factors affecting those groups. But the USDA suggests only “mitigation strategies” to reduce the damage. As for that “disparate” damage itself, we can at this point presume it to be a Team Trump-intended feature.
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