Dem Rep. Chu: We Need to Repeal Work Requirements in Debt Bill and Have More Immigration to Deal with Worker Shortage

On Tuesday’s broadcast of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) stated that the U.S. needs more immigration to deal with a shortage of workers and that she hopes the increased work requirements for SNAP benefits in the debt limit bill should be repealed.

Chu said, “I’m a co-sponsor of the farm worker modernization bill. Agriculture’s really hurting because they need the workers to be able to pick those crops. And they are constantly asking for a way to have a steady stream of workers that will do that that they can rely on. But I want to tell you that, just this past week, I visited Texas Instruments and Texas Instruments is doing a magnificent job [of] bringing the semiconductor business here to the level that it should be. … But what they told me is that they don’t have enough workers there who can produce those semiconductors. We need skilled people in engineering and so forth in the STEM professions that can do that. And they said that we in the United States have not invested in STEM education over the last decade. We can do it, but it’ll take a while to ramp up. And what we need [is] to be able to be welcoming to the people around the world who want to come here, they want to come and work here. We need to make sure that we can get them here so that we can get industries like semiconductors, the semiconductor industry to the place where it can be, so that we can make America the leader in innovation and technology.”

She added, “[B]elieve me, the food stamps — what we call SNAP now — what it provides is not an extravagant amount of food. We’re talking about two dollars a day. And I challenge a lot of people to live on that, but it is enough so that at least people can eat. So, that’s why I was so upset about raising the age level for those who would get the SNAP benefits, the food benefits from 49 to 54, and I think that should not have been done. I hope that one day we can return it back to what it was.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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