Should There Be Work Requirements For Welfare Recipients?
The debt ceiling deal, which President Biden is expected to sign into law Saturday, includes expanded work requirements to qualify for government welfare programs. During debt ceiling negotiations, Democratic lawmakers strongly opposed including the requirement expansions, while Republican lawmakers strongly advocated for them. The final agreement includes added requirements with exceptions for select groups, including veterans and the unhoused.
Against Work Requirements: A piece from Jamelle Bouie (Left bias) argues work requirements are counterintuitive and are a veiled means of cutting programs “without actually cutting them,” adding, “With a little extra paperwork and another layer of bureaucracy, states can keep thousands of people who qualify from getting access to benefits.” Bouie goes on to argue work requirements harm the economy, stating, “what people don’t have, they can’t spend,” and determines that for Republicans advocating for work requirements, “the state of the real economy is less important than that of the moral economy.”
For Work Requirements: The Wall Street Journal Opinion (Lean Right bias) Editorial Board argues the current Democratic Party favors a “culture of dependency,” and the current task of the Republican Party is to “rebuild a culture of work.” Outlining the terms, conditions, and exceptions in the work requirement standards included in the debt ceiling deal, the piece determines the requirements to be “one reason the deal is worth passing.” The board argues that despite flaws, the deal nudges policy in the direction of a “culture of work,” determining it is “incremental progress the GOP can build on.”
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From the RightThe GOP’s Progress on Work and Welfare
Some Republicans aren’t enthused about the debt-ceiling deal that Speaker Kevin McCarthy brokered with President Biden—not enough spending cuts, too few policy concessions. But one reason the deal is worth passing: The provisions on work and welfare are incremental progress the GOP can build on.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act makes several changes to social safety net programs, notably food stamps. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program imposes a three-month limit on able-bodied adults under age 50 without dependent children—unless they work or train 20 hours a week.
From the CenterRepublicans defend tougher work requirements but challenge cost estimates
Republicans are defending changes to work requirements for recipients of food stamps included in a legislative deal hashed out by GOP leadership and the White House to raise the debt limit, challenging estimates that show the push could ultimately lead to more spending for the program.
As part of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, both sides have agreed to tighten work requirements by raising the age threshold for recipients subject to the rules, as well as some exemptions for certain groups, including veterans and those experiencing homelessness.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.),...
From the LeftThe Republican Obsession With ‘Work Requirements’ Is Telling
Work requirements for federal assistance programs do not, well, work.
“Stable employment among recipients subject to work requirements proved the exception, not the norm,” according to a 2016 review of the evidence on work requirements for safety-net programs by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “The large majority of individuals subject to work requirements remained poor, and some became poorer.”
In 2018, Arkansas imposed a work requirement on Medicaid beneficiaries on the theory that it would increase labor force participation in the state. It didn’t. Instead, nearly 17,000...