Cordell said whether it be on a state or national level, lawmakers will likely run into the fourth amendment as a hurdle to require drug tests for food stamp recipients. Conservatives support the idea.
The proposal would target only a small portion of those participating in the federal program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but colloquially referred to as the "food stamp" program. The drug testing topic has been brought up before.
Current federal rules prohibit states from imposing additional requirements on SNAP-eligible families, and previous attempts to do so have not fared well in the courts.
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Still, some states have tried to implement some form of drug testing for the food assistance program, so far with little success. "The courts have found that drug testing someone is a search and it's not a justified search; it's not a reasonable search".
Others disagreed. Some argued that there should be some type of reason behind the testing. "The only person who should be drug tested is Donald Trump", he said. Though the administration has not taken an official public position on SNAP, as the AP noted, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has promised to provide states with "greater control over SNAP". Emails obtained by the AP, however, "suggest that a plan could be forthcoming", the news outlet noted.
"In the area where I live, a lot of people do a lot of drugs, and I feel if you can afford those drugs, maybe you wouldn't need food stamps if that is where your money is going", Robinson said.
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It could hit home for a lot of people in California because, according to U.S. Census information, the Golden State has the nation's highest poverty rate and spends more than $100 billion on welfare of safety net programs.
The emails also show that USDA is weighing the possibility of scaling back a policy now enacted in 42 states that automatically grants food stamp eligibility to households that qualify for non-cash assistance, like job training and childcare.
Republicans tried to make similar changes when Congress passed the 2014 farm bill, but the cuts were rejected by Democrats and did not end up in the final bill.
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