As the government shutdown drags into its third week, more and more people are finding themselves unwittingly affected by Trump’s prolonged, increasingly destructive tantrum over his $5 billion border wall. Next up: Those on subsidized food programs, including pregnant women and children.
According to CNN, funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Program—or SNAP—will run out next month if the shutdown isn’t resolved. While the $4.8 billion program is funded through January, only $3 billion in reserved funds will be available to cover its 38.6 million beneficiaries in February. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, evenly distributing the $3 billion reserve would mean a roughly $90 cut for the 19.4 million households that receive an average of $245 a month.
After that, there are no good options. Money unspent by other agencies may be reallocated, but just how much that would amount to would vary by state and is largely unknown. A similar program that provides nutritional assistance to more than seven million pregnant women, new mothers and young children would also be impacted.
As of now, 800,000 federal workers are expected to work without pay, and the list of those whose lives are being disrupted and/or destroyed by the shutdown is growing steadily with each day. Currently, it includes (but is not limited to):
- Craft brewers unable to get approval for new releases
- Farmers waiting on subsidy payments
- Trump’s own Secret Service detail,
- Everyone who enjoyed the National Zoo’s panda cam,
- TSA employees, and subsequently, travelers
- Travelers who want to live to make it to their destinations
This news comes less than a month after the Trump administration proposed a new rule that would require hundreds of thousands more people to work if they want to receive food stamps.