Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and 64 House colleagues sent a letter on Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of work requirements for food stamps.
Brooks’s letter backed the agency’s recent proposed rulemaking, which implemented work requirements for food stamps. The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed rule would make it harder for states to waive the work requirement by manipulating unemployment statistics.
Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Andy Harris (R-MD), Mark Green (R-TN), and other prominent conservatives signed on to the letter.
The lawmakers contended that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirements would help save Americans billions of dollars and help citizens get off of the public dole. In 2016, there were 3.8 million adults without dependents on food stamps, and nearly 2.8 million (nearly 74 percent) of those recipients did not obtain gainful employment while they received food stamps.
The lawmakers wrote, “These reforms would save hard-working American taxpayers $15 billion over a ten-year period and would help re-establish the true goal of the SNAP program, to help hard-working Americans in their attempts to gain self-sufficiency.”
Brooks said in a statement on Tuesday:
Americans who can work should earn the money they need to buy their food. It is wrong to let slackers live off the work of taxpayers. With unemployment at 4.0% (a mere three-tenths higher than the all-time low) and 7.3 million current job openings, work opportunities are abundant. It is selfish and irresponsible to allow able-bodied adults to vote for a living rather than work for one.
SNAP generally provides work requirements for food stamp recipients; however, the program contains many waivers that allow states to exempt many of their citizens from the 80-hour-per-month work requirement.
For instance, Breitbart News reported last August how California managed to exempt 95 percent of its counties from food stamp work requirements through a USDA loophole.
President Donald Trump promised to transform America’s welfare programs and reduce American dependency on welfare during his inaugural address.
Trump said in January 2017, “We will get our people off of welfare and back to work — rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”