Washington, D.C.—Today, the Trump administration released a final rule regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The rule closes loopholes used by states that frequently grant broad exemptions for recipients to remain on food stamps longer while not actively seeking a job or work training. Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector offered the following comment:
“This final rule—which doesn’t impact parents with young children, the elderly, or disabled—is a positive step toward much-needed reform for the food stamp program. The administration’s approach has nearly universal public support. Over 90 percent of the public agree that able-bodied adults who receive cash, food, housing, and medical assistance should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving those government benefits.
However, the work requirements in the program remain weaker than they should be. Of the 3 million able-bodied adults without dependents currently receiving food stamp benefits, roughly two-thirds would remain exempt from the work requirements. And the share of exempted recipients is likely to increase if the economy slows down.
Work is a critical path out of poverty that provides people with dignity and purpose. Ultimately, Congress should enact reforms that encourage work across the rest of the more than 90 federal welfare programs. We’ve seen how successful work requirements, like those in the 1996 welfare reform law, can empower Americans.”