Congress Should Strengthen Work Requirements for Welfare Beneficiaries

August 22, 2018
Washington, DC
Signatures updated: 8/24/18

Republicans, including President Trump, have long called for strong welfare reform, including work requirements. As the House and Senate work through the conference negotiations on the 2018 Farm Bill, we urge conferees to support a policy of conditioning benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, with work requirements for able-bodied adults.

According to the Heritage Foundation, the able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) caseload for SNAP benefits has more than doubled over the past decade, rising from 1.9 million in 2008 to 4.2 million today. Spending on the program has also doubled in the last decade to approximately $73 billion annually.

Though limited work requirements exist in current law, the amount of state waivers in place has rendered them effectively meaningless. Given this, as well as the fiscal and policy benefits associated with work requirements for ABAWDs, we urge conferees to give this policy due consideration.

Previous work requirement initiatives, specifically those added to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, have been successful at expediting the return of assistance recipients to the workforce, and removing incentives that discourage individuals from seeking full-time employment. According to the National Taxpayers Union, these reforms have been associated with higher incomes, declining child poverty, and an increased number of single women in the workforce.

Moreover, in places where these policies have been tried, they have succeeded. In July 2014, Maine announced it would no longer grant waivers from work requirements for ABAWDs. In a few months, Maine’s ABAWD caseload dropped 80 percent, with many individuals choosing to be removed from the SNAP rolls rather than participate in work programs.

According to analysis by the Heritage Foundation, policies similar to Maine’s could save taxpayers nearly $10 billion per year. Not only is this sound fiscal policy, it encourages individuals to take ownership of their own futures – the first step toward a successful welfare-to-work outcome. Americans understand this. In 2012, a Rasmussen poll found that 83 percent of American adults supported work requirements in exchange for welfare benefits.

Congress has a chance to make significant reforms to our welfare system that have a positive fiscal impact, while helping individuals make meaningful progress toward independence. We urge the Farm Bill conferees to include sound policy of work requirements for SNAP benefits.


The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Chairman, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
Tim Chapman
President
Heritage Action for America
William L. Walton
Chairman
CNP Action, Inc.
Adam Brandon
President
FreedomWorks
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan
The Honorable Jim DeMint
U.S. Senate
Former Member, South Carolina
Ed Corrigan
Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former Executive Director, Senate Steering Committee
Wesley Denton
Former Communications Director
Senator Jim DeMint (SC)
Rachel Bovard
Former Policy Director
Senate Steering Committee
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
The Honorable David McIntosh
President
Club for Growth
The Honorable Colin A. Hanna
President
Let Freedom Ring, Inc.
The Honorable Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council
President, Council for National Policy
Jenny Beth Martin
Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund
The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli
President
Senate Conservatives Fund
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
L. Brent Bozell, III
Founder and President
Media Research Center
Rebecca Hagelin
Secretary
Council for National Policy
Rod D. Martin
Founder and CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Haley E. Martin
President
The Martin Foundation
Shawn A. Mitchell
Former National Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA)
Jerry Melvin
Former Dean
Florida House of Representatives
Evelio Silvera
Campaign for the American Future
Tom Giovanetti
President
Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
Phil Kerpen
President
American Commitment
Dr. Mitch Pearlstein
Founder & Senior Fellow
Center of the American Experiment
Seton Motley
President
Less Government
The Honorable Charles J. Cooper
Former Assistant Attorney General, President Ronald Reagan
Cooper & Kirk PLLC
James R. Waters
CEO
Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
Richard D. Hayes
Partner
Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant KLP
Bob Adams
President
Revive America PAC
Tim LeFever
Chairman
Capitol Resource Institute
Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman
Eagle Forum
The Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
President
The Heartland Institute
William Shaker
Exective
Washington Marketing Group
Kim Bengard
Business Owner
It Takes A Family Foundation
E.C. Sykes
Managing Director
Aslan Ventures
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Former Budget Director
Reagan Alumni
Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Consernative Caucus
The Honorable Morton Blackwell
Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
Lewis K. Uhler
President
National Tax Limitation Committee
The Honorable Tom DeLay
Former Majority Leader
U.S.House of Representatives
Susan A. Carleson
Chairman & CEO
American Civil Rights Union
Allen Hebert
Chairman
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston
David N. Bossie
President
Citizens United
Roxanne Phillips
Member, Executive Committee
Council for National Policy
Caroline C. Lewis
Owner
Percipio Communications
Chad Connelly
President
Faith Wins
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Dan Weber
President
Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)
Melvin Adams
Past President
Renewanation
Floyd Brown
Chairman
Western Center for Journalism
Steve Berger
Pastor
Grace Chapel
Lee Beaman
CEO
Beaman Automotive
Robert Alt
President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute
Christopher Malagisi
Editor in Chief
Conservative Book Club
Marcia G. Taylor
CEO
Bennett Int. Group, LLC.
Col. Francis X De Luca USMC(Ret)
President Emeritus
Civitas Institute
Darrel W. Johnson
Owner
Attic Corporation
Michelle Easton
President
Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women
The Honorable Tim Echols
Commissioner
Georgia Public Service Commission
Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Sal Russo
Co-Founder and Chief Strategist
Tea Party Express
Charlie Copeland
President
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
The Honorable Mike Spence
Founding President
Conservative Republicans of California
Willes K. Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Peggy Dau
Activist for persecuted Christians
Iran Alive
Nancy Schulze
Founder
Republican Congressional Wives Speakers
Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO, CorsiNation.com
JRC Publishing LLC
Robert D. Thompson
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch
Dr. Richard Rounsavelle
Trustee
Media Research Center
Jason S. Jones
President
HERO, Inc.
Kayla Moore
President
Foundation for Moral Law
Sean Noble
President
American Encore
The Honorable Penny Pullen
Former Representative
Illinois General Assembly
Russell Ramsland, Jr.
Founder
Park Cities/Preston Hollow Leadership Forum
The Honorable Mike Hill
Former Member
Florida State House
The Honorable Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values
William W. Pascoe, III
Board Member
Tea Party Patriots Action
James Clymer
Former National Chairman
Constitution Party National Committee
The Honorable Belden Bell
CoChair-Legacy Society
The Heritage Foundation
James L. Martin
Founder/Chairman
60 Plus Association
Saulius ‘Saul’ Anuzis
President
60 Plus Association
Charlie Gerow
CEO
Quantum Communications
Gregory Quinlan
Founder
The Center for Garden State Families
Joe R. Calvert
President
Rabon-Calvert Interests
Mrs. Lisa Calvert
Christian Speaker
Rabon-Calvert Interests
Martha Boneta
President
VCS
Suzanne Hudgens
Homemaker
Tea Party Activist
Khadine Ritter
President
Eagle Forum of Ohio
Don Woodsmall
President
The Perfect Man Truth Campaign
Richard H. Wright
CEO
AAndrews Consulting
Ralph A. Rebandt, II
Lead Pastor
Oakland Hills Community Church
The Honorable Ralph T. Hudgens
Commissioner of Insurance
State of Georgia

All organizations listed for IDENTIFICATION purposes only.