Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the U.S. House have approved the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, cutting $39 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the next 10 years. The legislation also restores work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents.
"Our bill will not take a single calorie out of the mouths of children, the elderly, or those who are disabled," said Hartzler. "All individuals who qualify for food stamps will continue to receive nutritional assistance."
"This bill does restore the work requirements for able-bodied adults without children that were part of the successful 1996 Welfare Reform Act," continued Hartzler. "The 1996 reform law resulted in a 60 percent reduction in public assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and got people back to work, which is the ultimate goal of this assistance. Individuals would merely be required to prove they are working, participating in a work training program, or volunteering in their local communities for 20 hours a week. Mothers with young children, the elderly, and the disabled would NOT be required to work to receive their SNAP benefits."
"This bill eliminates the ability of individuals to be deemed eligible for assistance when they don't meet the income or asset requirements for public assistance and gets people back to work," added Hartzler. "This restores the integrity of an important safety net program by ensuring benefits go to those truly in need of assistance."
Having passed the House, the bill now goes to the Senate, which has included SNAP reform as part of its version of the Farm Bill.
Congresswoman Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.