President Donald Trump’s plan to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as food stamps, includes charging a fee to retailers for accepting food stamps at their stores. The broader plan has already faced some bipartisan outrage, and this new provision could cost businesses more than $2 billion, according to CNBC.
According to the Office of Management and Budget, businesses would have their fees reassessed every five years, and the amount would depend on the size and type of retailer. Trump’s budget estimates that the plan would result in over $2.4 billion in revenue over the next decade.
The grocery industry has already come out against this proposal. Leslie G. Sarasin, president of the Food Marketing Institute, said grocers oppose the “flawed policy of imposing fees on food retailers in order to reduce the cost of the federal government’s nutrition assistance benefits to the most needy in our society.”
According to the Food Marketing Institute, food stamps made up about 5.8% of an estimated $669 billion in annual grocery store sales, which underscores the potential impact of Trump’s proposal. While larger retailers such as Wal-Mart may be able to take a marginal hit in revenue, smaller stores, such as those that serve largely low-income neighborhoods, would face more significant losses.
The new fee is part of a broader proposal to cut the food stamp program by $191 billion over the next decade. However, this plan is already facing opposition on Capitol Hill, even from Republicans such as Rep. Michael Conway of Texas and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.