Tens of thousands of Oregonians could lose SNAP benefits next year

KPTV photo.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Trump administration is proposing changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The proposed changes could impact more than 20,000 people in Oregon starting in 2020.

Some of the changes were finalized this week. President Trump has said the new rules will help encourage SNAP recipients to find jobs, but local representatives are pushing back.

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici, met at north Portland's Village Market Friday to protest the changes.

Rep. Blumenauer called the proposal "inhumane."

"It's shameful, we shouldn't outsource our food policy to Ebenezer Scrooge," Rep. Blumenauer said during the news conference.

Sen. Merkley accused President Trump of taking food away from the poorest Americans.

According to Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, the slashes to SNAP will amount to a $144 million loss in benefits across the state of Oregon.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said he's going to fight back to protect the people who need SNAP to feed their families.

"We are going to push back against these horrendous rules," Sen. Wyden said.

So far, the Trump administration has proposed four separate changes to SNAP that local leaders are concerned about. The first, involving how SNAP benefits impact immigrants, is currently stalled under a court order.

Another proposed change would take away the ability of states to look at heating and cooling bills when determining a family's benefit level.

A third proposed change, which would take effect April 1, would impact able-bodied adults without dependents. As written, people who fall into this category would only be able to receive benefits for a maximum of three months in a three-year span.

Annie Kirschner, executive director of Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, told FOX 12 that most counties in the state have been able to waive the requirements. Under the new rule, she believes it's possible no counties in Oregon will have that ability.

The fourth proposal, dealing with categorical eligibility, will lower the amount of income a family can make, based on the federal poverty level, and still be eligible for benefits.

All of these cuts will likely take effect in 2020, Kirschner said, but the only one with a set date is the one dealing with able-bodied adults without dependents work requirements.

Local organizations like the Oregon Food Bank are urging everyone who currently receives SNAP benefits to keep applying and using the benefits.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(19) comments

ChicagoMan7

Those liberal Democrats Blumenauer, Wyden and Merkly hate the president, of course they're going to call him names. They want more people to rely on govt, more open borders, more homeless to rely on programs. They're also nuts.

Just curious

Where in the World did you ever get this information that these Democrats: Bllumenhauer, Wyden, and Merkley hate Trump?

Just curious

It is the President that calls people very Bad names, not these or any Democrats. Just Stupid Republicans do that.

Ranger

Absolutely should not be able to purchase drinks that the bottles or cans can be returned for money. Some of these people on SNAP will buy cases and cases of bottled water then go out in the parking lot and empty all the bottles out. Then they will go turn them in to get some cash. This makes me so angry when I see this.

Just curious

Have you positively seen these Snap users open up and dump their bottled water on the blacktop ofat the stores?

Just curious

Will this deny benefits to all the homeless in Portland, Oregon?

CherryAnn1000

Good. It's about time. Most all of these people could be working (and there are jobs), but instead choose to be lazy and indigent. We have a place here in Salem called Hope Station which provides food for the working poor as long as they pay a very small monthly fee and volunteer for a few hours at the station. No government intervention; strictly community support. It works very well. We can no longer support generations of families whose whole goal in life is to take and take and give absolutely nothing back. Just like all the vagrants they want to provide for. Enough already.

Just curious

Maybe you should walk ten miles in their shoes.

Yossarian

Time to give a second look to those receiving Social Security Disability Benefits under false pretext also. Too much abuse in several programs costing taxpayers billions.

The Oregon Dems can't back Trump.. they'd lose their bought and paid for voter base.

Just curious

What proof do you have that the people are abusing the system? Name some you know that are doing this!!

Grammysam

I think it is wrong for people with BET cards to be able to get cash or food. It should just be food, because I have seen them get cash, then go buy cigarettes and alcohol, plus drugs with the money they get from their food card. Back in the 70's, people used to get SURPLUS FOOD instead of going to the grocery store. I was one of them. I got canned chicken, meat, vegetables, bulger, cereal etc. I worked, but made only $295.00 a month working full time (1972), and had young children to feed. People take advantage of it now.

Just curious

Well turn these abusers in.

bj3171967

Ok here is something I have a problem with as far as President Trump goes. 1st. I am working but I do not make enough money to compensate for the cost of my housing, electrical bill, transportation and lets not forget that most places we live now insist upon housing insurance. After all this I have no income left to even pay for food. And I care for my elderly sick father so I cannot get a second or third job, not including I'm in my 50's and have my own health issues. So take away our SNAP benefits and you will be starving those of us like me. People don't know what others lives are like in their homes so maybe you should not judge those of us that do receive SNAP benefits that will lose them if this happens.

steveO

This program needs to be tightened up. One good way would be to Drug Test all people that receive benefits. They need to also do more checking up on people that are driving Cadillac's and BMW's that seem to get benefits. So many are abusing the system that we all may need at some point. Something has to be done, or our future benefits will go broke.

mairez

How is it inhumane to encourage able-bodied people who can work to get off the dole and provide for themselves?

Meanwhile, Merkley, Wyden, Bonamici, et. al make big bucks "representing" the little guy, whom they would like to keep on the plantation, for their votes.

Just curious

Really! What proof do you have?

JPK2705

Perhaps these highly-paid representatives we have in Congress could donate some of their money to the cause they so support?

DennisW

20,000???? Not enough!! Looooooong over due! Go Trump!

Just curious

Yep! Go Trump, Right to Putin.

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