The proposed Federal Farm bill contains work requirements
for able-bodied 18 to 59-year-olds who receive SNAP benefits. A beneficiary would have to work or enrolled
in a work training program at least 20 hours a week. Republican Congressman
Ralph Abraham says the requirement will filter out persons who choose to take advantage
of the welfare system.
“I’m sure there are
some that want to work, but again… if they want to be recipients of this SNAP
program, then they are going to have to ‘get in the game’ and do what we ask
them to do,” said Abraham.
Exemptions would be given to caretakers with children under
six-years-old, pregnant women and those mentally or physically disabled.
Abraham says the work requirement is not intended to harm individuals, the goal
is to help break the cycle of poverty and help people climb the economic
“I look at it as offering them an opportunity, not penalizing
them for receiving SNAP, but that’s an opportunity to improve their lifestyle.”
The Democratic National Committee is against the bill,
saying Republicans are imposing unproven requirements limiting access to SNAP,
forcing over five-million food-stamp recipients to stricter work requirements.