A proposal to require some food stamp recipients to take drug tests is being considered by President Donald Trump’s administration, a measure that’s taken a year to enact by conservative policy makers, according to the Associated Press.
The proposed requirement is targeted at “able-bodied” people “without dependents” who are applying for special jobs like “operating heavy machinery,” reports the AP. The mandatory drug tests could affect five percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.
Opponents like Ed Bolen, senior policy analyst at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, told the AP it the proposal teeters the thin line of legality because states technically aren’t allowed to use drug tests as a condition of eligibility for the program.
“Are people losing their food assistance if they don’t take the test, and in that case, is that a condition of eligibility, which the states aren’t allowed to impose?” Bolen said. “And does drug testing fall into what’s allowable under a state training and employment program, which typically lists things like job search or education or on-the-job experience? This is kind of a different bucket.”
Along with possible drug tests, low-income participants of SNAP, Medicaid and low-income housing subsidies now have to chose to either find a job or lose their benefits because of an executive order Trump signed under-the-radar Tuesday (April 10), according to the New York Times.