A final rule making changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program restores intent of the program, according to the Department of Agriculture. 

However, critics say the rule could cut benefits to hundreds of thousands of recipients, and charge that the rule ignores a bipartisan agreement in the 2018 farm bill. 

The change tightens work requirements for able-bodied SNAP participants without dependents. 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says amid the strongest economy in a generation, the rule “lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans re-enter the workforce where there are currently more job openings than people to fill them.” 

Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, counters, “this rule could cause one million people to lose their food assistance, while doing nothing to help them find jobs.” 

The National Farmers Union says the rule “will erode food security in rural and urban communities alike.” In the announcement, Secretary Perdue says, “Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream.”