Congress Considers Applying SNAP Work Rules To More People

[ideastream file photo by Brian Bull]
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This week the Agriculture Committee in Congress looks at stricter work requirements for food stamps as part of the larger farm bill

In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, able-bodied people without kids can receive food stamps for three months without having to work. After that, they’ve got to get a job or be enrolled in job training for at least 20 hours a week.

People are exempt from those rules if they are pregnant, younger than 18 or older than 49.

The Republican proposal would raise that maximum age to 59. It also increases minimum work hours to 25 by the year 2026. And it applies these work rules to parents, too, if their kids are 6 or older.

In prepared statements, Ohio’s committee members split along party lines.

Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge said the bill “breaches a long-standing, bipartisan commitment to help struggling families and American farmers.”

Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs said the bill “makes sure those who truly need assistance get it,” and that the safety net should offer a path for “relevant and useful job training.”

Ohio waived work requirements during the Recession, but reinstated them for most counties in 2013.

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