The Trump administration has received cheers and jeers for tightening food stamp work requirements.
"This is long overdue," thinks Kristina Rasmussen, senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA). "What the Trump administration is doing is closing loopholes that the Clinton and Obama administrations created to let people get food stamps who technically should not have qualified. So essentially, if you're an able-bodied adult without kids in the household between the ages of 18 and 49, you're supposed to work, train, or volunteer part-time in exchange for your taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits, but these loopholes created by the Clinton and Obama administration let people not do that."
Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York) is not happy with the work requirements.
"My family relied on food stamps (EBT) when my dad died at 48," AOC tweeted. "I was a student, and if this happened then, we might have just starved."
AOC went on to say that "it's shameful how the GOP works overtime to create freebies for the rich while dissolving lifelines of those who need it most."
The New York Democrat's criticism is not new. And other politicians and voters have made similar arguments against work requirements for welfare in general, not just the food stamp program; they claim this will discourage people from signing up for assistances. Others have pointed out that many people on food stamps do work and still have trouble making ends meet.
"These changes only affect able-bodied adults without dependents," Rasmussen asserts. "So by definition, if you have children in the household, and that certainly seems to have been [AOC's] situation when she was a young girl, you are exempt from these work requirements; they don't apply to households with kids."