A conference committee has started discussions on a new Farm Bill on Capitol Hill, with Republicans pushing for major reforms to food stamp eligibility. Congressman Ralph Abraham from Richland Parish is on the committee and he supports a work or educational requirement for an able bodied adult to be eligible for SNAP.
Abraham says employers are desperate for labor, and this is a good step towards pushing the unemployed into the workforce.
"They've got to look at objective data, they got to see we have 7-million slots that we can't fill and we get about 7-million Americans that are work eligible, but are not working," said Abraham.
Abraham says a key part of the reform is finding ways to get people jobs that pay enough to get them off the dole.
"Give them a a living wage job, not a minimum wage job and these are good jobs waiting to be filled, and these SNAP reforms address that issue," said Abraham.
In the House version of the bill, able-bodied adults would be required to work, enroll in school or a job training program, or volunteer for 20 hours a week to keep SNAP benefits.
Abraham says part of the food stamp reform effort is a push to provide additional financial support for SNAP beneficiaries who want to pursue job training or advance their education.
"We're putting in this in the SNAP reform program, they can go to school 20 hours a week and again get that on ramp to success," said Abraham.