On Saturday, following a "routine test" of backup systems, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit system went down for much of the nation. EBT is a debit card system that stores benefits such as SNAP (food stamps) and TANF funds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture made it clear that the timing of the EBT system failure and the government shutdown was purely coincidental. The shutdown did not effect the release of EBT funds to beneficiaries.
Twitter aggregation site Twitchy collected various reports of people witnessing the effects of the EBT system failure. Many were quick to blame the government shutdown and wondered out loud if there were going to be riots, while others claimed racist motivations behind the system failure, and there were reports of chaos at Walmart stores.
The system was back up late Saturday night.
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