Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue endorsed work requirements for food stamps in an interview on Monday.
The House and Senate continue to reconcile the differences between their farm bills in a conference committee. The House-passed version contains work requirements for able-bodied Americans without dependents on food stamps, which would mandate that they participate in job training, work, education, or community service for 20 hours a week to obtain food stamps.
The House legislation would transform the food stamp program, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and help fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”
While Congress grapples with reconciling the differences between the two farm bills, Secretary Perdue wholeheartedly endorsed work requirements for SNAP.
“The House felt very strongly – frankly, as I do – that there should be some work requirements associated with the generosity and the compassion of the American taxpayer,” Perdue said.
“If people enjoy the benefits of having food for their family … they should expect that someone that’s taking advantage of that, or utilizing that during down times, are trying to better themselves to a more independent lifestyle,” Perdue added.
Robert Doar, a poverty scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), wrote an op-ed in June that work requirements for food stamps will help “fight poverty at its roots.”
A new survey from the Foundation for Government Accountability revealed that more than 82 percent of Americans, including 94 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats, support work requirements for food stamp recipients.
House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) told Breitbart News in an interview in April that the work requirement in the farm bill “is an opportunity to help people who want to help themselves. Most Americans are very supportive of that idea.”