Heritage Expert Urges Broader Work Requirements for Welfare System

Heritage Expert Urges Broader Work Requirements for Welfare System

Feb 23, 2018

As the Agriculture Department starts soliciting public comments for rule changes that could relax exemptions for work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector says a broader legislative effort is needed to improve the food stamp program and entire welfare system.

“The federal government spends $1.1 trillion each year on aid to the poor. Welfare should not be a one-way handout for able-bodied adults without dependents who refuse to work or even look for a job. Small changes in regulations will not be enough to fix the welfare system. What is needed is welfare reform legislation that establishes work requirements for all programs that provide cash, food, or housing benefits to adults who can work. More than 20 years ago, Heritage proposed such changes in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. That reform was very effective in reducing dependence, promoting work, and reducing child poverty. Congress can expand and replicate that success with solid work requirements throughout the federal welfare system.”

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