The Trump administration is trying to go around Congress to expand food stamp work requirements for recipients.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled a proposal on Thursday “at the direction of President Donald J. Trump.”
Under current rules, able-bodied adults without dependents have to work or participate in training programs for 20 hours each week to receive benefits for more than three months over a three year period. States can waive that requirement in areas with an unemployment rate above 10 percent, or where there aren't enough jobs.
But the new rule would strengthen the standards for those waivers so they're used "in a limited manner" in areas where there aren't any jobs.
The announcement comes as the president is gearing up to sign a compromised farm bill passed by Congress that struck down a similar rule.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the proposed provision would help people move toward “self-sufficiency.”
The rule has been sent to the Office of the Federal Registrar for publication. Once it's published, there will be a 60 day public comment period before the measure can be put into action.