Number Of Food Stamp Recipients Drop After States Establish Work Requirements

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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The of numbers of individuals in different states on food stamps have dropped precipitously after certain counties in different states decided to re-establish work requirements for food stamp government benefits that ballooned under the Obama administration, Fox News reported Tuesday.

A 2009 congressional economic stimulus package did away with previous work requirements in the states for able-bodied adults and the rolls of those on food stamps spiked to 48 million people across the country by 2013. Preliminary figures for Fiscal Year 2017 show that the number of recipients on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is in a downward trend.

Other ways are being explored to cut the number of SNAP recipients.

After re-instituting the work requirement in 21 more counties in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a 62 percent drop in SNAP participants.

Thirteen counties in Alabama began to mandate that able-bodied adults without children must either find work or engage in a work training program as a requirement for their benefits. Last month, AL.com reported an 85 percent drop in food stamp participation in those 13 counties.

One member of Congress wants to reinstate the work requirement for SNAP recipients on a federal level. Louisiana Republican Rep. Garrett Graves proposed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 2996) late last month.

In a press statement, Graves says his bill builds on President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform package.

“There are talented people across our country who aren’t pursuing the full potential of their capabilities largely because government incentives make it more profitable in some cases to stay home and collect welfare than to pursue personal growth and responsibility through work,” Graves said. “Government needs to provide a safety net for the vulnerable, but it’s become a lifestyle for some to actively choose government assistance over work — that’s a disservice to those people, the economy and the taxpayer.”

House Freedom Caucus Leader Jim Jordan proposed a similar bill called the  Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act. Jordan told The Washington Examiner of his legislation, “It’s a tough-love way to get them to a better position in life.” He added: “What you find is, when work requirements are imposed, that people either go get the skill set they need or they’re doing some volunteer work or they’re doing some job training — they’re helping themselves, bettering themselves. Or what typically happens is they’ll just say, ‘oh i’ll just forego the program altogether and I’ll just go get a job, or I’ll get a second job.'”

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