Republicans in Congress are working to improve the food stamps program by focusing on how to lift people out of poverty through work.
“While we know that a job is the surest way to get out of poverty, it can be difficult for individuals to find a job that matches their skills, or to gain the skills needed to fill the jobs available in an area,” GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana, chairwoman of the Nutrition Subcommittee, said during a hearing Tuesday.
The GOP’s proposal would expand employment and training programs for all able-bodied adults enrolled in welfare programs like food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “A Better Way” proposal to fight poverty and reduce government spending would expand work requirements for SNAP benefits.
The food stamps program exploded under President Barack Obama, in part because of high unemployment after the great recession, with 46.6 million people enrolled in 2014. Nearly 45 million people are still on food stamps this year, costing taxpayers more than $50 billion in benefits during the past 12 months alone, according to recent USDA data.