Food-Stamp Work-Requirement Still Not Enforced In 25 States
Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times,
Able-bodied people without dependents must work 20 hours a week or be in job training to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). But during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress suspended the work requirement.
Businesses are open again, yet 25 states have not fully reinstated work requirements. Of those, seven states allow work waivers in certain areas of the state. These seven are Colorado, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and South Dakota.
Eighteen states and territories have kept the work waiver across the entire state. They are Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington.
When the federal public health emergency ends in May, the work requirement will be reinstated. But Republicans on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry want to know why the work requirement is not already in place.
“For nearly three years, SNAP participants have been exempted from work requirements. It is time for this exemption to end and it is time for USDA to get serious about enforcing work requirements. States should no longer be allowed to game the system,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.), ranking member of the committee, said Thursday in opening remark of a hearing on funding the Farm Bill.
“Good jobs are plentiful. There are more than 11 million jobs open across the economy, equivalent to nearly two job openings for every unemployed person. Approximately 5 million of those job openings are in 25 states and territories that are not enforcing work requirements. This job gap pushes labor costs higher, slows supply chains, delays our economic recovery from the pandemic, and importantly, is a large contributor to the historic inflation facing our nation.”
SNAP is intended to supplement a beneficiary’s monthly grocery budget, Boozman said. It was not created to be the entire monthly grocery budget.
“Why is the Biden administration not promoting work?” Boozman asked.
“As study after study proves, work equals dignity. A culture of dependence weakens our communities and our country. SNAP is a valuable program, but it should lead to self-reliance, not generational dependence.”