The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would move to make sure able-bodied Americans work to receive food stamp benefits, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said could save billions of dollars in taxpayer money each year.
The Agriculture Department unveiled expanded work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP. A move to expand such requirements was included in a $400 billion farm bill recently passed by Congress, but was stripped out at the last minute.
According to the proposed rule, those who are able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) would need to work at least 20 hours per week up to age 59 in order to receive government assistance.
"Under current SNAP requirements, ABAWDs must work or participate in an employment program for at least 20 hours a week to continue to receive benefits for more than three months over a 36-month period," the USDA said. "States may request to waive the time limit in areas with an unemployment rate above 10 percent or where there are ‘not sufficient jobs,’ which current regulations primarily define as an unemployment rate 20 percent above the national average.
"With today’s strong economy, that could include areas with unemployment rates of under 5 percent – a rate normally considered to be full employment. In 2016 there were 3.8 million individual ABAWDs on the SNAP rolls, with 2.8 million (or almost 74 percent) of them not working," the USDA said.
“Long-term reliance on government assistance has never been part of the American dream,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “As we make benefits available to those who truly need them, we must also encourage participants to take proactive steps toward self-sufficiency. Moving people to work is common-sense policy, particularly at a time when the unemployment rate is at a generational low.”
New York Times Publishes Trump Assassination Fantasy After Asking Fiction Writers to Imagine End to Mueller Investigation
The New York Times published a short story about assassinating President Donald Trump Tuesday just one day before “potential explosive devices” showed up at the addresses of multiple political figures including former President Barack Obama.
The New York Times asked novelists “to conjure possible outcomes” to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election for a Tuesday piece.
English thriller novelist Zoë Sharp wrote the short story, titled “How It Ends,” about a Russian assassin on a suicide mission who receives help from a Secret Service agent to kill Trump. A character who is working with the Russians in the story implies that Trump “was handpicked at the highest possible level” and must be silenced.
The Daily Caller
President Donald Trump said Monday the U.S. would begin “cutting off, or substantially reducing” aid to three Central American nations over a migrant caravan heading to the U.S. southern border.
Trump tweeted: “Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S.”
The three countries received a combined more than $500 million in funding from the U.S. in fiscal year 2017, though it was not immediately clear how much Trump is seeking to cut.
The Monday morning tweets marked the latest escalation by the president, who is seeking to re-inject immigration politics into the national conversation in the closing weeks of the midterm elections.
Note; The number keeps drastically changing, but it does appear the caravan is growing in size.
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: Thank you very much, Larry. Appreciate it. And I think Larry is going to be very happy with what I'm going to say. I might as well leave the press to say it because it will put more pressure on all of the people gathered around our table.
I'm going to ask each of you to come back with a 5-percent budget cut from your various departments. Whether it's a secretary, an administrator, whatever, I'm going to ask everybody with a 5-percent cut for our next meeting. I think you'll all be able to do it. There may be a special exemption, perhaps. I don't know who that exception would be. If you can do more than five -- some of you will say, "Hey, I can do much more than five."
You know, I've heard about the penny plan for 15 years. One penny every year per dollar -- one penny every year -- after four or five years, the country is in good shape. I'm saying, let's not do the penny plan; let's do the five-penny plan. I think you can do it.
So I'd like to have everyone sitting around the table -- your incredible domains that you preside over so brilliantly, in some cases. In some cases very well; in some cases brilliantly. I would like you to come back with a 5-percent cut. Get rid of the fat. Get rid of the waste. And I'm sure you can do it. I'm sure everybody at this table can do it. It will have a huge impact.
Last budget we had to go -- because of the military -- we had to fix our military. Our military is in the process of being fixed. Planes are being made. Boats are being made. Ships are being made. Missiles, rockets, everything. Our nuclear is being brought to a level that nobody else could even imagine. Pray to God we don't have to use it. But there will be nothing like what we have, and there is nothing like what we have.
And that's why I did that. I made deals with the devil in order to get that done, because we had to improve our military. Our military was depleted. It was in bad shape. Our great people in the military hadn't received a wage increase in more than 10 years. Now they're getting an increase. First time in more than 10 years.
So I wanted to do that and -- in order to get that done -- because the Democrats won't vote for the military. They don't like the military. They don't like law enforcement. They don't like borders.
You see what's happening with the border, where people are coming up in caravans and we have to stop them even though the laws are terrible. The laws are terrible. Our laws are terrible. They're a laughingstock all over the world. And we're supposed to stop people with laws that aren't very good, but we're doing better than anybody else could possibly even think about.
But I'd like you all to come back with a 5-percent cut. And I think if you can do more than that, we will be very happy. There are some people sitting at the table -- I'm not going to point you out -- but there are some people that can really do substantially more than that. Because now that we have our military taken care of, we have our law enforcement taken care of, we can do things that we really weren't in a position to do when I first came.
So we'll see you at the next meeting. I'll see you many times before. I'm sure I'll speak to all of you during this term. But that's a very, very important request that I'm making of everybody sitting around this table. It's tremendous amounts of money, and it's something that we can do.
And I believe we could actually do it, easily. So rather than go by the penny plan, we'll call it the nickel plan. At least it will be a one-year nickel plan. We may do another nickel plan next year too.
Thank you all very much. To the press, thank you very much.
REPORTER: Mr. President, does that include the Defense Department, sir? The 5-percent cut.
TRUMP: We know what the budget -- the new budget is for the Defense Department. It will probably be $700 billion. So it's 716; it was 700 -- 716. And that's a very substantial number but it's defense. It's very important. I mean, to us, without defense, maybe the rest of it doesn't mean very much.
But if you know, it was a $520 [billion] a very short while ago. And the reason I brought it up to 700 and then 716 was to build new ships. We're building new, incredible submarines, the finest in the world. The most powerful in the world, anywhere, ever.
We're doing things that we have never done on this scale. So that included a lot of rebuilding of our military. So despite that, I'm going to keep that at $700 billion -- defense. Okay?
Real Clear Politics
President Donald Trump added his signature to the “Save Our Seas Act” on Thursday, green-lighting an initiative to clean up eight million tons of debris from the planet’s oceans.
“As president I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills. That’s why I’m pleased – very pleased, I must say – to put my signature on this important legislation,” Trump said as he signed the Save Our Seas Act into law at the Oval Office.
Sponsored by Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, the bill aims to promote better domestic and international efforts at cleaning up garbage that is littered throughout the oceans. The new law will extend the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program for another five years, and promote cohesion among different federal agencies on how to reduce marine debris.
The Daily Caller
Canada has agreed to sign on to a trade deal between US and Mexico, preserving the three-country North American Free Trade Agreement after more than a year of tortuous negotiations, a US official and a Canadian official told CNN late Sunday.
The US and Canadian governments agreed to a deal that would allow greater access to Canada's dairy market and address concerns about potential auto tariffs just hours before a self-imposed midnight deadline, the officials said.
Further details are expected before midnight.
In a press release dated September 24, 2018, The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is terminating its contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a fetal tissue procurement company which contracted with multiple Planned Parenthood abortion facilities to harvest aborted fetal body parts to then sell to researchers. ABR was referred for criminal investigation by Congress after a thorough investigation into illegal fetal tissue trafficking in the United States.
Pro-life groups recently brought to light HHS’ contract with ABR, and along with that added scrutiny, various members of Congress as well as leaders of pro-life organizations issued letters to the FDA and HHS urging an end to the contract, which was providing “fresh” aborted human fetal body parts to create humanized mice. The HHS press release states:
After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.
In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.
Finally, HHS is continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”
'We fell in love … he wrote me beautiful letters': Trump boasts about improved relationship with Kim Jong Un during West Virginia rally
"I was really being tough and so was he. And we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love. Okay? No really. He wrote me beautiful letters," Trump said. "They're great letters. We fell in love."
Trump was likely referring to the symbolic letters sent personally to Trump from Kim over the summer that were heavy on flattery. Trump added that the media was likely to criticize his glowing praise for Kim.
"Now they'll say, 'Donald Trump said they fell in love. How horrible is that? So unpresidential.' And I always tell you, it's so easy to be presidential," Trump said. "But instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we'd have about 200 people standing there. It's so easy to be presidential."
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