House Republican to introduce bill to expand eligibility requirements for food stamps
Representative Dusty Johnson (R, SD) will introduce a bill Tuesday that would expand the work-based eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The proposed bill, first reported by PoliticoIt would expand the age range of SNAP recipients without dependents who must comply with work requirements to be eligible for food stamps. Defenders of the bill insist that improving work requirements for SNAP recipients would incentivize recipients to escape poverty.
Johnson, the House Agriculture Committee member whose family relied on food stamps when he was a child, has made clear his intentions to change the eligibility requirements after his re-election in November 2022.
After winning more than three-quarters of the vote, Johnson told voters that fighting high energy costs and reforming SNAP within the new Farm Bill would be his first priority.
“Work is an opportunity. It is not a punishment,” Johnson told an Election Day rally of supporters in Sioux Falls, SD. “There is no prescription for escaping poverty that does not have work as a condition.” Johnson said the same in a recent statement to Politico: “We know that work is the only way out of poverty.”
While Johnson wants the new requirements to be included in the upcoming 2023 farm bill, other House Republicans have expressed interest in making the labor requirements part of the debt ceiling negotiations.
However, Johnson and the Republican Party will face an uphill battle as many Democrats have already condemned the move.
Representative Jim McGovern (Dr. Politico before announcing the bill.
Actress Rosa DeLauro (Dr., Connecticut) echoed a similar sentiment. “This is nothing new, this goes. All you have to do is look back through the years.”
In late February, a pandemic-era funding payment given to SNAP expired, with the average recipient set to lose nearly $82 per month. Thus, the Metropolitan Area Food Bank estimated that it would provide 23 fewer meals per recipient per month. Cumulatively, that amounts to 7.5 million fewer meals for the entire District of Columbia area it serves.
Eileen Follinger, SNAP director of the Center for Food and Action Research, told L.L.C Washington Post Last month. “We know a lot of these families don’t have a lot of protection in their budgets.”
More than 40 million Americans currently receive assistance from SNAP.