Republicans hope Trump amenable to food stamp restrictions

In this Monday, March 27, 2017 photo Sunny Larson, left, and Zak McCutcheon pick produce while gathering provisions to take home at the Augusta Food Bank in Augusta, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

MARINA VILLENEUVE, Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s governor and fellow Republicans in two other states hope President Donald Trump will be more amenable to banning food stamps to buy soda and junk food than his predecessor.

Former President Barack Obama’s administration shot down a soda ban proposal for food stamp recipients in 2011 by then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and last summer he raised concerns with a Maine proposal to restrict soda and candy purchases.

But Maine Gov. Paul LePage is now renewing his efforts under the Trump administration and has inspired legislators in Tennessee and Arkansas, who say they won’t give up trying to restrict food stamp purchases.

Trump’s budget proposal doesn’t include food stamp changes. But his choice for secretary of agriculture has signaled support for overhauling the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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