Defense Secretary James Mattis will retire at the end of February, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday night.
The announcement comes shortly after the White House said the US would be withdrawing its troops from Syria, a move that came despite reported concerns among Pentagon officials. "General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense for the past two years," Trump tweeted in part.
The Trump administration unveiled a plan today to force hundreds of thousands more Americans to hold jobs if they want to keep receiving food stamps, pursuing through executive powers what it could not achieve in Congress. What's the logic behind this plan? The country's food assistance program, which is run by the Agriculture Department (USDA), requires most adults without dependents to work if they collect food stamps for more than three months in a three-year period. But USDA regulations allow states to waive the requirement in areas with unemployment rates that are at least 20 percent greater than the national rate. These requirements were actually introduced during President Bill Clinton's administration as a part of his promise to end poverty as we knew it. The USDA is now proposing that states could waive the requirement only in areas where unemployment is above 7 percent. The current national unemployment rate stands at 3.7 percent. Helping poor families get into the workforce so they'd no longer need government aid was an admirable goal, and the new program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) did work for many families, but not all. As many low-income families have become more independent, many others have been left behind.
Eugene Craig III — Republican strategist, former vice-chair of the Maryland Republican Party and grassroots activist.
Ray McGovern — Former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Peace.
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