Headline RoundupJune 2nd, 2023

Should There Be Work Requirements For Welfare Recipients?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

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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