WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, introduced an amendment to the Democrats’ reckless tax-and-spending bill that would restore a pre-COVID policy requiring able-bodied adults without dependents to join the workforce in order to continue receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
Specifically, Boozman’s amendment would require able-bodied adults without dependents to either work or participate in a work program at least 20 hours per week to receive SNAP benefits beyond three months. This requirement has been paused since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law in March 2020.
“These work requirements were established on a bipartisan basis. They were waived for the COVID emergency on a bipartisan basis. They should be reinstated with bipartisan support too now that COVID restrictions have largely ended,” Boozman said. “Job openings are still near a historic high, contributing to our ongoing supply chain bottleneck. It is time for these requirements to be enforced so that able-bodied adults return to the workforce."
There are more than 10.6 million job openings, 5.7 million unemployed individuals, and nearly two job openings per unemployed persons. While unemployment rates are low at 3.5 percent, the number of individuals not in the job market is over 100 million and the labor force participation rate is only 62 percent. Employers added 528 thousand jobs, but to do so wages had to grow sharply, which contributes to higher inflation.