Rep. Garret Graves Introduced A Bill To Bring Back Work Requirements For Welfare Recipients

Congressman Garret Graves, who represents Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District, has introduced a bill which would redefine welfare requirements. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reform Act of 2017: it’s a mouth full, but it would ultimately serve to fight poverty, support families and promote self-sufficiency while helping stem a tide of government dependence, according to Graves. He says it will build on the mandatory federal work requirements for SNAP assistance that have proven successful since the 1996 welfare reform package.

This bill, specifically, would require “able-bodied, unemployed adults without dependents who are receiving food stamps to undergo a ‘supervised job search’ for at least eight hours a week,” as reported by Business Report. What is a “supervised job search?” The bill defines it as one that:

  • Occurs at an official location where the presence and activity of the recipient can be directly observed, supervised and monitored
  • Records (in a non-fraudulent manner) the entry, time onsite, and exit of the recipient from the job search location
  • Requires the recipient to remain and undertake job search activities at the job search center
  • Reserves and monitors the amount of time the recipient engages in a job search at the official location (for compliance purposes)

The bill would further require states to terminate food stamp benefits to those who do not meet the requirements, and if the states fail to comply, they would lose 10 percent of federal food stamp money for each quarter.

It is Graves’ hope that this bill will motivate Americans to get back to work, rather than simply accept the government’s assistance. In a press release, he shared his sentiment:

“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. 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. We have to restructure incentives to achieve the outcomes we want and to get capable people off the sidelines and involved in building America’s future. This bill is a small step toward that goal.”

In a statement supporting the bill, the Heritage Foundation asserted just how necessary it is that we find a solution to the growing problem of welfare, pointing out that “From 2000 to 2015, food stamp recipients increased by more than 28 million and cost the government $83.1 billion in [fiscal year] 2014 alone.”

We’ve seen some states bump up the work requirements for welfare and produce remarkable results. When certain counties in Alabama brought back work requirements for food stamps, the number of those enrolled decreased dramatically, costing the tax payers much less.

If this bill passes, and we hope it does, we can expect good things to come. It’s a push in the right direction for our economy.

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4 thoughts on “Rep. Garret Graves Introduced A Bill To Bring Back Work Requirements For Welfare Recipients

  1. There should also be actual work requirements while you are receiving food stamps, welfare, Section 8, or any other benefits. If unemployed, in addition to a supervised job search, you should also be out digging ditches, picking up trash on the side of the road, shelling seafood, or other unpleasant work, in order to incentivize these people to find jobs to escape welfare. It’s got to be more miserable than actual paid employment.

  2. If one is an able bodied citizen of either sex without dependent children involved, how about no welfare and no food stamps? If one doesn’t work, one doesn’t. Why should the American taxpayer support anyone without dependent children. The children have to be supported but the deadbeat adults, not so much. Just about everyone who finds themselves in this position has made some pretty lousy life decisions. They would rather live in public housing, spend all day drinking and/or doing illegal drugs all the while getting supported by the government.

  3. It’s always assumed that any welfare reform is an attack on the poor. This is the furthest thing from the truth. All the mandate does is require those who are out of work to try to find work. After all, wouldn’t the individual rather be employed (if they could find a job), rather than receive government aid. The worse that can happen is that someone, in the process of following the guidelines of the mandate, will walk away with a job. It’s the best of both worlds. For one, the program would be streamlined for people who really need it, who, whether inadvertently or not, are stuck in a mode of dependency, and two, the individual may actually walk away with a job, which is what the main goal of able bodied individuals who are on assistance is anyway, right?

  4. it’s quite simple. We do not have an endless supply of resources, capital, or economic surplus. What is the opportunity cost of massive government spending? Less private sector investment. Less resources for the private sector means less investment, which means less productivity, which means less profit, which translates to LESS EMPLOYMENT. So helping the struggling working class starts by ensuring there’s enough private sector investment and capital to create jobs, making sure government isn’t sucking up all of the resources to ensure this happens. Government spending is out of control. Something has to give. Nobody wants to take benefits away from people who NEED them.

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