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Watch: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates answer Christian leaders' question about poverty

Watch: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates answer Christian leaders' question about poverty

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden didn't directly answer the question at hand, and instead took a swipe at the Trump administration for passing a new rule that requires able-bodied adults between the ages of 18-49 without dependents to work at least 20 hours a week or participate in education or job-training activities to receive food stamp benefits.

It has been estimated that the work requirement rule could to cut nearly 700,000 Americans from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“Now this president comes along just before Christmas and cuts what used to be called the food stamp program — but SNAP — the ability to have adequate nutrition,” Biden said. “Where I come from, the way I was raised, it is a moral issue.”

Biden stressed that it is “about making sure that we treat people with decency.”

“That’s how my parents and grandparents acted and reacted. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, everybody,” Biden said. “It didn’t matter where they came from. Everyone deserves to have enough food to eat. Everyone deserves to have a roof over their head, a shelter. Everyone deserves to be in a position where they have access to health care for them and for their children."

Current USDA regulations allow states to waive the work requirement if the area's unemployment rate is 20 percent higher than the national rate. The new rule will allow states to wave the work requirement only in areas where the unemployment rate is above 7 percent.

The final rule restriction will not apply to children and their parents, those older than 50, senior citizens, those with a disability, or pregnant women.

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